Killeen hopes messaging blitz will encourage COVID-19 vaccinations

Published: Aug. 17, 2021 at 6:55 PM CDT
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KILLEEN, Texas (KWTX) - The City of Killeen is stepping up its communication to residents in hopes of encouraging more people to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Just more than 35% of Bell County residents 12 and older are fully vaccinated against the virus.

Statewide Tuesday, more than 54% of residents 12-years-of-age and older were fully vaccinated.

COVID cases are rising and hospitals in Bell County are near capacity. City leaders say the only way to get those numbers down is by getting shots.

“When you get that vaccine, that shot, it just diminishes the effects of it, so that is something your body can manage,” James Kubinski, Killeen fire chief, said.

Now residents will start seeing fliers given out at various places. The City of Killeen will also start using its social media to reach the unvaccinated population.

Have you had your first AND second COVID-19 shot? Covid-19 is still here... *Cases are still rising *Children are more...

Posted by City of Killeen, Texas - Government on Monday, August 16, 2021

Kubinski was one of two who gave an update on Killeen’s COVID outlook during a council workshop on Aug. 10. The city has just recently re-started those updates because cases and hospitalizations were climbing.

There is some understandable hesitation especially with break-through cases, he said.

“It is definitely concerning to see any kind of an increase,” Kubinski said.

The city is now sending out direct messages to anyone who texts their zip codes to 438829. In the messages are nearby sites to get a vaccination.

Included is also some options for getting a ride to those locations. There are even some childcare options.

This may be a draw-in for those dreading long wait times, which is something brought up in the August city council work session.

“As I walked past a pharmacy it says there may be a long wait time if you don’t already have an appointment,” Melissa Brown, Killeen city council member at-large, said.

Even with the possibility of long wait times, Kubinski said it could still pay off. Because now it seems there is no end in sight to ending this virus.

“We can never completely mitigate or eradicate it. We understand that, we’re going to have to learn to live with COVID,” Kubinski said. “But what we can do is get the message out.”

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