DSHS Launches New Round of Pop Up Vaccine Events

News Release
July 22, 2021

With COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations on the rise in Texas, the Texas Department of State Health Services is again hitting the road to promote vaccination. DSHS will hold 18 pop-up events at Walmart locations across the state to talk with parents and families about the importance of vaccination for younger Texans as they prepare for next school year and as the Delta variant spreads more widely in Texas.

Older adults at the greatest risk of hospitalization and death from COVID-19 have overwhelmingly been vaccinated, but uptake has been lower among younger age groups. Three-quarters of Texans 65 and older are now fully vaccinated, compared with 40 percent of those ages 18 to 34, and just 26 percent among ages 12 to 17.

“Hospitalizations for COVID-19 are now rising across all age groups. While fewer young people get very sick, they can get and spread the virus, and we are still learning about the long-term effects,” said Dr. John Hellerstedt, DSHS commissioner. “Tens of millions of people have been vaccinated with no ill effects. We know these vaccines are not only safe but also very effective. Achieving higher vaccination rates is essential to eliminating the threat of COVID from our communities.”

Cases and hospitalizations are increasing as data indicates the Delta variant now accounts for most new COVID-19 infections in Texas. The variant spreads more easily and may cause more severe disease.

The DSHS summer pop-ups will last for four hours each day beginning this evening in Killeen, followed by stops in Waco, Tyler and Beaumont through the weekend and will travel around the state through the first week of August. The events feature a 16-foot video wall showing vaccine facts and messages from local spokespeople along with other attractions like a “Take the Shot” basketball game and free frozen treats. Walmart is offering free COVID-19 vaccines at all its pharmacy locations with no appointment needed.

DSHS is also launching a new television ad featuring pediatricians Dr. Ryan Van Ramshorst and Dr. Haydee Rimer addressing the vaccine’s safety and importance for children. 

Texas providers have administered nearly 26 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine to more than 14 million people. More than 12 million are now fully vaccinated, about 52 percent of the eligible population. More information on COVID vaccine in Texas, including links to locations where vaccine is available at covidvaccine.texas.gov.

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(News Media Contact: pressofficer@dshs.texas.gov)

Last updated July 22, 2021