The Texas Department of State Health Services kicks off its fall COVID-19 vaccination campaign with a parking lot pop-up tour to select Walmart locations across the state. These vaccination education events began in 2021, and this year’s re-launch encourages families to get vaccinated and boosted as soon as possible to protect themselves and their communities from COVID-19.
“Vaccination remains our most important tool in the fight against severe illness and death from COVID-19,” said DSHS Commissioner Dr. John Hellerstedt. “And the new bivalent vaccines promise an even more effective and safe protection from Omicron variants, which continue to be the leading cause of COVID-19 illness in Texas and across the U.S.”
Updated COVID-19 booster vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna were authorized recently by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and shipped to large retail pharmacies around the state, including those in Texas Walmart stores. These doses contain mRNA vaccine for the original SARS-CoV-2 strain and also vaccine for Omicron variants BA.4 and BA.5, which are prevalent in Texas and across the U.S.
People who are fully vaccinated are eligible for these boosters - those 12 and older for the Pfizer booster and adults 18 and older for the Moderna booster. At least two months must have passed from completion of a primary vaccination series or a booster dose for people to be eligible for the new bivalent booster.
The outdoor events at Walmart, which kicked off this week in San Antonio and continue through Sept. 25, feature family-friendly activities, including costumed luchadores performing educational skits, arcade-style basketball and spinning wheel games, and a photo selfie wall. Similar to the 2021 pop-up events, a 16-foot video wall will display educational videos featuring local leaders and pediatricians discussing the safety and effectiveness of available COVID-19 vaccines.
Those attending the pop-up events can access COVID-19 vaccine information and ask questions about vaccination before walking inside Walmart to the store’s pharmacy to receive a vaccine dose. In addition to receiving booster doses, DSHS also encourages those who have not had any COVID-19 vaccinations to get their primary series completed immediately to help protect themselves, their families and their communities from severe illness and death from COVID-19.