Health center pressing on to vaccinate more Houstonians despite reduced demand

While the number of people wanting COVID-19 vaccines is slowing down, the Spring Branch Community Health Center's effort to administer vaccines has not.

The center is doing grassroots outreach including going door-to-door at apartment complexes with information.

"We're there to answer any questions that they have because sometimes when they say, 'No, I don't want it.' We just don't leave it there. We say, 'What are your concerns?'" Sarah Prompuntagorn, Community Engagement Manager with SBCHC.

The center is also hosting vaccine clinics with community partner sites including the Korean Community Center at Hollister and Long Point. 

The CDC reports Asians make up 4.9 percent of those who are fully vaccinated, and the demographic make up 5.8 percent of the U.S. population. 

"Majority of our people, they are not hesitant," said Hyunja Norman, board member of the Korean Community Center. 

But for Norman, it is about helping her community access the vaccine.

"My focus was seniors who do not speak good English," she explains.

Norman also worries they do not know how to register online. She adds it is also about helping her neighbors.

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"I think everybody knows here in Spring Branch, many, many Latinx community members live here. I want to reach out to them so [they] also they get the vaccine because they are our [community] members," Norman emphasized. 

On May 12 and 13th, SBCHC is partnering with Memorial Hermann to administer Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines at St. Jerome Catholic Church at 8825 Kempwood Dr. The clinic is from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and walk-ins are welcome. 

With the Pfizer vaccine authorized for anyone 16 and older, the center is working with Spring Branch ISD in hopes of reaching more 16 to 18-year-olds. 


"Our team is reaching out to those schools and trying to make sure that they know we're offering them," Prompuntagorn added. 
And, with the FDA expected to authorize Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine for 12 to 15-year-olds as early as next week, the center anticipates the news will come in time for them to expand their reach. 

"We're really hoping for that because we have a lot of elementary schools and middle schools that we are connected with and we can give out an announcement and hopefully all those kids will get vaccinated," Prompuntagorn concluded. 


Moreover, getting children vaccinated against COVID-19 is now taking on a new level of urgency. Late last week, the American Academy of Pediatrics reported about 23 percent of all new COVID-19 cases in late April were among children.