WACO, Texas — The effort to get more people vaccinated against COVID-19 continues in Central Texas.
In McLennan County, the health district is taking action to get more African Americans protected against the virus.
They have partnered with the Waco NAACP, African American churches and VOICE Waco for the "Shots for Souls" event.
“We are really targeting the Black community because we know that only 10% of our Black population is vaccinated and we need to get those numbers up," said LaShonda Malrey-Horne, Director of the Waco-McLennan County Public Health District.
According to the Waco-McLennan County Public Health District, only 10% of the 113,022 fully vaccinated McLennan County residents are African American. However, African Americans make up 15% of hospitalizations and 13% of fatalities.
Officials said vaccination is the most effective way to slow the spread of disease and significantly decrease hospitalizations and fatalities due to COVID-19.
"We want them to understand that the health district is here for everyone, and we worked hard with the Texas Department of State Services to find out the best vaccine processes,” said Malrey-Horne.
First and second doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine and single doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be available at the event. The health district wants to make sure people are fully vaccinated prior to Thanksgiving.
"It is a a time to celebrate, spend time with each other, eat and just enjoy family. Last year it was different for us, so this year we want to ensure a safer Thanksgiving for the community and making sure as many people are vaccinated as possible,” said Malrey-Horne.
The Shots for Souls vaccination event will be held Sunday, Oct. 17 at the Waco-McLennan County Public Health District building at 225 W. Waco Drive from 1-4 p.m.
Lunch for the first 200 people will provided.