People are still processing the news from Governor Greg Abbott and trying to figure out what lifted restrictions look like in their businesses, classrooms and in the workplace. For some still working to get people registered for the vaccine, this is a step in the wrong direction.
Leslie Armijo with Don’t Wait to Vaccinate spends several hours each week in Black and brown neighborhoods getting people registered for the vaccine. We caught up with her in Oak Cliff just 24 hours after Governor Abbott’s announcement.
“There’s still a great need for vaccination and registration,” said Armijo. “I see how many people in my neighborhood have not been vaccinated as of yet, and I think that we need to listen to health professionals.”
Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price expressed similar concerns. Price has been vocal about vaccine accessibility in predominately minority and elderly communities.
“What is the state of mind? It’s clearly nobody is minding the state,” said Price. “When you’re down, let me see what else I can drop on you. And that’s kind of where the Governor is.”
His message to his constituents and beyond is to continue wearing masks and follow CDC best practices for guarding against COVID-19.
According to the CDC, during the first month of COVID-19 vaccinations in the United States, 60.4% of those who received the vaccine were non-Hispanic White. Among those whose race/ethnicity was known, 39.6% percent represented racial and ethnic minorities, with 11.5% identifying as Hispanic/Latino and 5.4% identifying as Black.
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As for Leslie Armijo, there’s no time to slow down and give too much attention to what the Governor has said. She said her primary focus is getting shots in arms.
“The last thing we need is a surge in COVID cases right now. So, I think the big push is to get everyone registered. And then once we hit herd immunity and then I think at that point we can lift some of those restrictions,” she said. “But I can see lifting mask mandates as helping my community right now.”