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Posts tagged as “coronavirus”

COVID-19 Novavax Vaccine Now Available at HCPH Sites

Houston – Harris County Public Health (HCPH) is pleased to announce that there is a new option for people to get their COVID19 vaccine. On July 13, 2022, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized the Novavax COVID-19 Vaccine for emergency use. Following approvals of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS), HCPH is now offering the COVID-19 Novavax vaccine to residents. Novavax is a two-dose primary series for individuals 18 years of age and older given 3 weeks apart.

Novavax uses a different technique than other COVID-19 vaccines such as those from Pfizer and Moderna. Instead of using mRNA, which provides the instructions for your body to create the COVID-19 spike protein that in turn induces your body’s immune response, Novavax’s vaccine injects the small protein itself, that your body detects and that triggers your body’s immune response. The Novavax vaccine is based on a well-established method of vaccine development that has been used for years for other vaccines such as the Human-papillomavirus, Hepatitis B, flu, and Shingles vaccines.

COUNTY PROVIDES $48M FOR CHILDCARE

New program funded by American Rescue Plan funds will allocate historic $48 million dollar investment for childcare and early childhood development

HARRIS COUNTY – June 14, 2022, In a 3 to 2 vote, commissioners court approved a new program investing $48 million American Rescue Plan (ARPA) funds for childcare and early childhood development in Harris County. It is the largest known investment of ARPA dollars by any county or city in the nation for early childhood education.

“Early childhood programs have one of the strongest returns on investment of any type of public program. Those positive effects also endure throughout the child’s life, increasing their graduation rates and future earnings while reducing any possible contact with the criminal justice system,” said Judge Hidalgo. “ We have an obligation to go beyond just the minimum standard of funding roads and bridges and public safety. We also have an obligation to support our next generation of workers and innovators and leaders.”

The program will increase accessibility to high quality childcare and early childhood development by 10% in the third-largest county in the nation. Approximately 105,000 children aged 0-3 with working parents live in a quality child care desert in which there are few or no affordable options for quality child care in their area. Due to the high cost of childcare, often one parent is forced to stay home, preventing them from entering the workforce and costing families lost wages.

UPDATE ON COVID SHOTS FOR CHILDREN

Harris County Public Health Now Administering COVID-19 Vaccine for Children Under 5 Years Old

Vaccination for children 6 months to 4 years follows the recent approval by FDA, CDC, and DSHS

Harris County Public Health (HCPH) is now administering the COVID-19 vaccine to children 6 months to 4 years old. This follows the recent emergency use authorization given to both Pfizer and Moderna by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), along with approval by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS).

HCPH encourages parents or guardians to first seek a COVID-19 vaccine for their children from their primary care provider or pediatrician. HCPH will provide vaccines to children at its vaccination sites to residents who cannot obtain it otherwise.

All COVID-19 vaccines and boosters are safe and effective and have proven to provide strong protection against severe illness, hospitalizations, and death, including the latest version approved for children aged 6 months to 4 years old.

Comm. Garcia tests positive for COVID-19

Harris County Commissioner Adrian Garcia has tested positive for COVID19 and will be working a limited schedule while isolating at home. The Commissioner’s symptoms are minor, and he says he’s “feeling good.”

“Thankfully, I am feeling ok with what appears to be a mild case of COVID-19. I am grateful to have been vaccinated and boosted which I maintain is the reason my symptoms aren’t worse,” said Commissioner Garcia. “I strongly encourage anyone who hasn’t yet been vaccinated to please go and do so now.”

County moves COVID threat to Level 2 ORANGE

Harris County Judge Lowers COVID Threat Level to Orange

Harris County, Texas — February 24, 2022 — Judge Lina Hidalgo today announced that she is lowering the county’s COVID-19 Threat Level Indicator from Level 1: Red to Level 2: Orange. The move comes as positive cases and COVID-19 ICU populations are decreasing.

“The omicron wave hit Harris County very, very hard,” said Judge Hidalgo. “In fact, only now have our hospitalization rates dropped to levels that don’t immediately threaten the capacity of our healthcare system. While we’re moving in the right direction, there are no guarantees we won’t see another wave in the future. My hope is that the on-demand availability of vaccines and treatments will help us to avoid another dangerous spike. I continue to urge folks to get vaccinated. Doing so will allow us to deal with COVID-19 as a manageable risk rather than an emergency that unnecessarily threatens lives and the capacity of our entire healthcare system.”

Level 2: signifies a significant and uncontrolled level of COVID-19 in Harris County, meaning that there is ongoing transmission of the virus. At this level, unvaccinated residents should continue to mask, physically distance, and avoid all medium and large gatherings. Vaccinated individuals should follow the latest local public health guidance on whether to also wear a mask while indoors in public places, in crowded outdoor settings, and for activities with close contact with others who are not fully vaccinated.

Houston offers $50 to $1000 incentives to get vaccinated

HOUSTON – The Houston Health Department is launching a new program to encourage more Houstonians to get vaccinated against COVID-19. The 6- week initiative will award 12 people $1,000 gift cards and provide $50 gift cards to hundreds of additional people.

People who get their first dose or booster shot at eligible health department vaccination sites between January 29 and March 10, 2022, will be entered into drawings for $1,000 gift cards. Two $1,000 winners will be selected on Fridays starting February 4 for a total of 12 winners over six weeks.

Fixed vaccination sites eligible for the $1,000 incentive program are:

Dealing with COVID-19 in a New Year

County Connection by Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo

A new year is a time for new beginnings, and I know we are all ready to start fresh. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 epidemic has not slowed down over the holidays. With the emergence of the Omicron strain fueling the fire, a new wave of infections are once again raising our numbers. Hospitalizations are slowly rising and approaching problematic levels, infections are spreading rapidly across our County, and this week our numbers have pushed our threat level back to red. The possible exposures from travel, holiday celebrations, and gatherings on top of the return of children to school this week could trigger a very difficult month ahead in terms of hospitalizations and the strain on our medical system. It is clear that we will be living with this virus indefinitely.

But here in Harris County we are not giving in – we have more tools available and more knowledge on this virus than at any previous point during this pandemic. And we know that vaccinations are the best protection for you and your family against this virus. If there has ever been a wake up call to get vaccinated and get your booster, that time is now. You can find all the information you need on how and where to get vaccinated and your booster at readyharris.org.

County raises COVID threat level

INCREASE IN COVID-19 HOSPITALIZATIONS TRIGGERS INCREASE IN HARRIS COUNTY COVID-19 THREAT LEVEL

Harris County, Texas – On January 10, 2022, Judge Lina Hidalgo announced that she is raising the county’s COVID-19 Threat Level Indicator from Level 2: Orange to Level 1: Red. A surge of the highly contagious Omicron variant has contributed to an increase in COVID transmission across Harris County.

Level 1 signifies a severe and uncontrolled level of COVID-19 transmission in Harris County. Residents experiencing symptoms should get tested and avoid contact with others, assuming they have COVID until they confirm otherwise. Any gatherings should be held outdoors and ideally with masking. Unvaccinated residents should avoid all gatherings and get vaccinated immediately.

“We’re finding ourselves again at a point in this pandemic where hospital staff are being stretched way too thin,” said Judge Hidalgo. “We owe it to our nurses, doctors, and teachers to take steps to protect ourselves and give them a break. If you have been on the fence about getting vaccinated, now is the time to roll up your sleeve. We are in the midst of a COVID-19 tsunami and our best defense are vaccines and booster shots. We’ve been here before, but this time we have more tools available and a better understanding of this virus.”

The COVID-19 vaccine and vaccine booster continues to be available at no charge for all Harris County residents. To find out more information, locations and hours, click ReadyHarris.org.

Hidalgo said she made the decision because hospitalizations and ICU cases have spiked at area hospitals, along with the positivity rate.

Vaccine Booster shots available from Harris County Public Health

Include a COVID-19 Vaccine Booster in Your Holiday “To Do” list

Booster doses are available for qualifying fully vaccinated residents

Houston – Unlike last year, this upcoming holiday season we have a vaccine available that can protect us against COVID19. Additionally, eligible residents who completed their two-dose mRNA vaccine series (Pfizer or Moderna) at least six months ago and anyone who received the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine at least two months ago can get a booster. Harris County Public Health (HCPH) is administering the COVID-19 vaccine booster for people in qualifying groups.

All COVID-19 vaccines provide strong protection for most people. A booster vaccine is an additional dose given after the protection provided by the original series has begun to decrease over time.