HOUSTON - As the CDC issued new guidance last Thursday recommending that those fully vaccinated wear masks indoors in areas of high transmission, local health officials hosted a town hall in Acres Homes to encourage vaccinations.
The Houston Health Department said Acres Homes is listed a priority community because of its high-risk and hesitant population.
On Thursday, city officials were equipped with an educational slideshow, a virtual log-in option and offered $50 restaurant gift cards as incentives for participation at the town hall.
But despite their efforts, less than five people physically showed up. The low turnout illustrates concerns that more than half the city's population is hesitant and have not received their first shot.
Health officials reiterated that the COVID-19 vaccine may be the only way out of the pandemic.
"From mid-February to mid-July, of the COVID deaths that occurred in the state of Texas, 99.5% were among people who were not fully vaccinated," said Scott Packard with the Houston Health Department.
Although breakthrough cases, where a vaccinated person gets sick from COVID-19 are becoming increasingly common, health officials say their infections are mostly mild and manageable.
The Houston Health Department says this was the second of a series of town halls they'll be hosting across the city. The next one is scheduled to take place in Humble.