HARRIS COUNTY, Texas - Half of Harris County is still stubbornly reluctant to climb aboard the "vaccine train" despite a seven-fold increase in infections over the last month, driven by the fast-spreading Delta variant of Covid-19.
The national demographic leading the list of the "unwilling" - adults between the age of 18 and 49, almost two-thirds of which has declined the offer of protection.
Nurse Kali Thurman paused from a Hermann Park family play day to offer a plea to both the indifferent and skeptical.
"It may not be important to you now, but when it happens to somebody close to you, it will become important. This is not new technology. It's a new vaccine, but not necessarily new technology, and I think we have to trust in the science behind it," said Thurman.
And yet for many, there remain a multiplicity of valid reasons to either wait or opt-out altogether.
For instance, Natalie Morgan, is breastfeeding her 5-month old daughter.
"I'm not sure how it would affect her and my milk, and for that reason, I won't be getting vaccinated," said Morgan.
Her friends, Amanda Redding and Elizabeth Cools, object to the negative characterizations of those displaying caution while making personal decisions with potentially long-term implications.
"I think you see a lot of people holding back because they are a little leery of the data that's been presented and not being able to make a truly educated decision for themselves, whether it's underlying medical reasons or for their children. You know, like I'm vaccinated, but I'm not apt to vaccinate my children without more information," said Redding, who is a nurse.
"Individuals that are really concerned with Covid-19 are going to take measures to protect themselves and to protect their families and those who don't feel they are at risk are going to continue to live their lives," said Cools.