Mayor's Office Press Release
Mayor Turner and Houston Health Partner with Faith-Based Groups for Super Saturday Vaccinations
March 14, 2021 -- As faith-based institutions resumed services Sunday for the first time since the state rolled back the face mask requirement and reopened businesses 100 percent, two Houston houses of worship are grateful many of their members have been vaccinated.
Over the weekend, the Houston Health Department provided 1,000 vaccinations each at Mt. Hebron Church and New Light Christian Center. The sites were selected because they are located in high-priority zip codes identified in the department’s access and equity vaccination strategy.
Mayor Sylvester Turner thanked Pastor Max Miller and Dr. Irishea Hillard for opening the doors to members of their congregations and other Houstonians during the Super Saturday Vaccine Day.
The mayor and health leaders believe the faith - based partnerships will help build confidence in COVID-19 vaccines in vulnerable communities.
"It is important for us to offer the vaccine in places people trust like faith-based institutions that families attend and serve as the anchor in many communities," Mayor Turner said. "People will come to places they feel can be trusted. Many people in the African American community and the Hispanic community feel better about going to their church to get vaccinated instead of a pharmacy or the FEMA community vaccination center."
Mayor Turner was joined at the sites by U.S. Rep. Al Green, Houston City Council Member Carolyn Evans - Shabazz, Houston Health Department Director Stephen Williams, Community Relations Director Janice Weaver and members of the Health Equity Response (H.E.R.) Task Force.
"I want to give my thanks to Janice Weaver in the Mayor's Office, who accepted the challenge to bring faith-based institutions into the city's vaccinations efforts," HHD Director Williams said. "We cannot depend on mega-sites alone to help us address access and equity issues. We have to go into the neighborhoods and today is an example of doing just that on Houston's south and the north side."
The Houston Health Department plans to partner with religious institutions in the East End on Saturday, March 20.
On Monday, March 15, the state of Texas will begin Phase 1C, which extends vaccine eligibility to anyone over the age of 50. More than 93 percent of the Texas fatalities directly caused by the coronavirus have been in people 50 and older, with those ages 50 to 64 accounting for 20 percent of all fatalities.
People who meet that criteria can join our waitlist now at HoustonEmergency.org/covid19.
Registration assistance is available to by calling 832-393-4301 or 832-393-4220. People with disabilities may call 832-393-5500 for registration assistance.