WATCH: Dr. Cook explains why children should get vaccinated in last scheduled news conference

Published: May. 26, 2021 at 10:08 AM CDT|Updated: May. 26, 2021 at 12:35 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - The City of Lubbock held their last COVID news conference on Wednesday, citing improving conditions even as they encouraged everyone to get a vaccine.

Dr. Ron Cook reminded everyone that COVID is still in the community and people are still getting sick, “But we can wipe out this virus if we get vaccinated.”

Dr. Cook said 43 percent of Lubbock has had at least one dose of a vaccine, including a majority of people over 65.

The city is expecting more vaccines to be approved for ages 12 and up soon, and are increasing outreach efforts to get children vaccinated.

Dr. Cook reminded parents that children will likely have the same side effects that adults had with the vaccine - a sore arm, some low-grade fever, some muscle aches, some lethargy, but the effects should last less than 24 hours.

“These are very, very safe vaccines,” Dr. Cook said.

Dr. Cook said children can get sick and spread COVID to others, and some of them can develop severe inflammation in response to COVID. Dr. Cook said 300 deaths have been reported nationwide.

The city held their first COVID news conference on March 3, 2020. Wednesday morning was their 61st news conference, and they say it will be the last scheduled COVID news conference.

The city is still vaccinating people at the health department itself and two days a week at the Mahon Library.

They’ve planned other vaccination events with LISD, Broadway Church of Christ, Southcrest Baptist Church, and there’s a street party planned in front of the health department itself, 806 18th Street, on Saturday.

There will also be a clinic Saturday at South Plains Mall near Barnes & Noble from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

The health department said they will be cooperating with districts to get children vaccinated at school. LISD has already sent permission letters home to parents to get their approval to have students vaccinated, with school nurses administering vaccinations during the school day.

The city has already done this twice with LISD, and is looking to partner with other districts going forward.

In response to Karin’s question, Dr. Cook said although vaccination efforts are going well, we are not at herd immunity in Lubbock. Dr. Cook said we’re at 43 percent of eligible individuals with at least one dose of a vaccine, but it’s hard to know how close we are to herd immunity because we don’t know how many people had COVID but were not tested.

“We have plenty of vaccine available,” Dr. Cook said. “Some states have already reached 70 percent, why can’t we?”

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