I am happy to say we have finally reached a point where COVID-19 vaccines have become plentiful enough for just about everyone to get vaccinated. Mobile options are now available. Our vaccination efforts, along with the other COVID-19 mitigation measures, have finally slowed the spread. Those mitigation measures may have even kept the annual flu season at bay.
People can now easily select an appointment for COVID-19 vaccination at a time and place that's more convenient for them, and not have to endure extremely long lines. Believe me, we are happy that it's come to this.
For a while it was quite a struggle to keep the infection rate down locally, not to mention staying prepared for the possibility of other COVID-related strains appearing. We were fortunate that we had willing community partners to assist with distributing vaccine in as orderly a manner as has been done. We're doing our best to reach into communities that haven't had easy access to the COVID-19 vaccine and are offering further information and education to county areas where there has been reluctance among those communities to get vaccinated. We know that as more people become vaccinated, there's less likelihood of COVID-19 spreading. We're also on alert for any new COVID strains, should they happen to pop up in the county.
While there's much to be proud of and happy about, this isn't really a victory lap. If anything, this pandemic has proven that a relatively unknown and virulent virus can quickly spread in any community, alter our daily lives, affect our economy and tax our public health system. In fact, I must note there are still more people to be vaccinated locally.
COVID-19 can surge again in our community if too many remain unvaccinated and relax their masking, social distancing and hygiene habits.
Even known virus threats can become more difficult to manage. The mosquito season is upon us, we've already found our first West Nile Virus-positive mosquito pool, and summer isn't even here yet.
We know, as public health, that we must always stay alert to such threats. We also know that we can be overwhelmed without the help of local agencies and health organizations. We're grateful they are willing to unite with us to protect the community's health.
We also know that it's important to keep you --the public-- informed on an ongoing basis as to these threats, and to educate everyone as much as we can as to what they individually can do to protect themselves and their families.
We truly appreciate all the efforts and support we've received during this time.
Staying healthy is a two-way street. Public Health will do it's part and continue to remain vigilant in our charge to protect the community's health.
Veerinder "Vinny" Taneja
Director, Tarrant County Public Health
County Telephone Operator 817-884-1111
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