As schools prepare to open next month, a Dallas-based molecular diagnostics company and non-profit organization have teamed up to offer free COVID-19 vaccines to students and families on Saturday.
For many school districts in North Texas, the first day of school is August 16. Dallas-based GeneIQ Vaccine Direct has partnered with the Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center to provide doses of Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines to the public.
“We are learning that those who did not have access to the vaccine, we had to come to them,” said Andre Johnson, executive director of GeneIQ.
Organizers said the partnership is the most effective way to get community members most at risk immunized.
âIt’s important that we partner with agencies like the Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center to reach out to the community where we can host an event and individuals can come here in their own community and receive a COVID-19 vaccine,â Johnson said.
With less than six weeks to go into the school year, many families in Dallas ISD have said they are eager to ensure their children ages 12 and older get immunized.
âI am fully vaccinated, everyone else in our family is fully vaccinated, so with their return to campus this year we want to make sure they are also protected,â said Jessica Wright.
The Wright family has been hit hard by COVID-19, which is why they took their nieces and nephews to a free clinic on Saturday to make sure they get the vaccine.
“We have lost family members to COVID-19, our grandmother was hospitalized for a long time with COVID, and I just don’t want them to have to go through this,” he said. she declared.
The partnership with the Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center is part of a strategic initiative by GeneIQ’s Direct Vaccines Division to support schools, businesses and community organizations with on-site and free COVID-19 vaccinations.
âWe have now decided to come to these people,â Johnson said. âWe go everywhere – public libraries – we host vaccination clinics at McDonald’s in various communities. Vaccines are made available at no cost to the individual.
Those who came without children said they recognized the importance of getting the vaccine themselves.
âI’m diabetic, I travel a lot, so it’s best that I get it just to make sure everything is okay at home and for my family,â said Mark Lecoq.
Students at the clinic said on Saturday that they understood that with the return to school, getting the vaccine is especially important for families living near or in the same home with members of multiple generations.
“I know I’m about to hang out with a lot of people and I don’t want to get infected and pass it on to anyone, so I know it’s important for me to do my part and get the vaccine.” , Dallas ISD ninth-grader Gabrielle Ellis said.
Ellis’ aunt agreed.
âIt’s just another layer of protection while we’re together as a family,â Wright said.
To make an appointment for a vaccine with GeneIQ, call 972-942-0110 or email [email protected]