Vaccine hesitancy poses challenge for El Paso; Mayor and County Judge say vaccine appointments available


EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — During a joint news conference on Friday morning, El Paso Mayor Oscar Leeser and County Judge Ricardo Samaniego said that vaccine hesitancy is posing a challenge in El Paso.

Both Leeser and Samaniego said the challenge that the city and county is facing is effectively reaching out to the community to overcome that hesitancy.

“The mayor and I are going to figure out what we need to do to accommodate everyone,” said Samaniego. “We can not help if we don’t understand the challenges. … We do need to understand a little better how do we reach out.”

Leeser said that the city’s goal is to reach an effective herd immunity.

“We’re going to continue to reach, we all know the number we want is 75-percent herd immunity,” he said. “We’re right around the corner.”

However, some El Pasoans say they don’t want to get vaccinated at all.

“Just seeing the side effects and seeing how many cases have increased after getting the vaccine we just feel like it’s better if we just ride it out without it,” said Jessica Vasquez from El Paso.

“There’s people who are on the fence about whether they want to get it or not there’s people who are not quite sure if they will ever get it so its out job to make sure we provide the opportunity,” said Leeer.

The city and county are making changes to reach as many people as possible, including going to Grace Gardens this weekend to target high school seniors who may be attending prom-like events.

Leeser also said that the senior vaccination site will be moving to the Northeast starting Monday at Joey Barraza and Vino Memorial Park.

“We’re going to try to get as many groups as we can,” Samaniego said.

Leeser said that there will be an appointment-free vaccination clinic on Monday at the Eastside Sports Complex. 

If you want a vaccine appointment, there are appointments available. The Mayor and County Judge said residents can book an appointment today, as there is no waitlist.

You can view the full news conference in the player below or here.

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