COVID vaccines available for all ages at LSCPA, Travis Elementary later this week

Published 12:34 am Thursday, February 24, 2022

When the COVID-19 vaccine was made available to children 5 and older, Adrienne Lott was slightly apprehensive when it came to vaccinating her child.

But through research and information, the media and communications specialist for Port Arthur Independent School District was put at ease.

“I have friends that are physicians who were vaccinating their kids,” she said. “These were physicians who know the science behind it. And that made me comfortable enough for me to vaccinate my daughter.”

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Now the PAISD official is working with the Port Arthur Health Department to bring the same awareness to those in the community, while also providing an opportunity for anyone 5 and older to receive a vaccine.

On Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Health Department’s COVID Strike Team will be at Travis Elementary School, 1115 Lakeview Ave. Kona Ice and XTreme SETX Gaming will join them to make the event fun for children.

But that’s not the only demographic able to attend.

“If an adult shows up and needs information, we will speak to them and give the vaccine as needed or as they desire,” Health Director Judith Smith said. “We will continue to get the information out. Hopefully people will take heed. We’re going in a good direction.”

The district and health department partnered in December to host an after-hours symposium that allowed parents to attend, receive information from medical professionals and get their children vaccinated.

“We did have some parents who got their first shot that night, too,” Smith said.

And similarly, adults will be welcome to attend Saturday — but they don’t have to be just people in the area of Travis Elementary School. On Wednesday, administrators sent emails to all PAISD campuses to ensure they knew all areas of the city were invited.

“It’s not neighborhood specific,” Lott said. “We can’t force it on anybody but we can strongly encourage it, which we do. It’s hard for kids to keep the masks on all day. They have to eat breakfast and lunch. The vaccine gives me reassurance that we’ve done all we can do to prevent (infection).”

And, she added, the weekend availability will hopefully help working parents who haven’t been able to make it to the Vaccination Hub on Cultural Center Drive.

Every PAISD student who is vaccinated at the event will be entered into a raffle to win one of three $50 gift cards.

COVID Strike Team

While this is the first time the COVID Strike Team has gone to a PAISD school, they’ve made use of their mobile unit since its inception in May.

They’ve administered vaccines at churches, grocery stores, barbershops, apartment complexes and more.

“Wherever they’re invited to go, they go,” Smith said. “Even if it’s only for one person.”

When the health department first received the grant, the immediate focus was on the homebound and those experiencing homelessness.

“But then we started to get ideas on how we could expand the vaccination clinic,” Smith said. “They’re doing something almost every week.”

They’ve also helped vaccinate hundreds of seafarers who have docked at local ports that were unable to return to their home countries without a vaccination.

However, the Strike Team is not limited to Port Arthur. As the health department also serves Nederland, Port Neches and Groves; any school or organization in that area is welcome to request their presence.

They’ve previously hosted vaccination days at the Nederland Recreation Center.

Health Fair

From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, the department’s Strike Team will be at the LSCPA Ruby Fuller Building, 1501 Lakeshore Drive, providing free COVID vaccines and blood pressure screenings. In addition, students from the Lamar University Academy of Audiology will be providing free hearing screenings, and LifeShare will be hosting a blood drive. “For the love on Lakeshore Drive” is free to the public.