City of Houston, Texas Children’s Hospital hosting vaccination clinic at GRB Friday –

The vaccination clinic will be held from 12 to 8 p.m.

HOUSTON — The City of Houston along with Texas Children’s Hospital will be hosting a mega vaccination clinic this Friday.

The clinic will be held from 12 to 8 p.m. at the George R. Brown Convention Center. Houston health officials are hoping to vaccinate at least 5,000 people at this clinic, including children as young as 5. Booster shots will be available for those 16 and older. 

METRO will be offering free rides to the clinic. 

Appointments are encouraged, but walk-ins are welcome, officials confirmed. 

“The vaccine clinic will be a safe, comfortable place with all the COVID protocols in place. The vaccination area at the George R Brown will be transformed into kid-friendly spaces completed with toys and coloring books and the entire family is invited to attend,” said Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner.

Watch the full announcement below:

The announcement of this clinic comes after health officials monitor the arrival of the COVID-19 omicron variant in the Greater Houston area.

There is still very little known about the omicron variant, but President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci said it does not look like there’s a great degree of severity to it.

“But we have really got to be careful before we make any determinations that it is less severe or it really doesn’t cause any severe illness, comparable to delta,” Fauci said. 

RELATED: Fauci says early reports encouraging about omicron variant

Because there are still relatively few cases of the variant in the U.S., doctors are learning about it through data from other parts of the world. 

“Looking at data out of South Africa, it looks like omicron is very transmissible. It may be more transmissible than delta,” said Dr. Wesley Long with Houston Methodist. “But then it’s also important to remember South Africa is a different country, with a low vaccination rate, and with the AstraZeneca vaccine that we don’t use here.”

RELATED: What we know about the omicron variant

Nearly 4,000 people have died from COVID-19 in Houston, according to Mayor Turner. He said as families decide to gather for the holidays, it’s important people get vaccinated. 

“It is the best tool we have to remain healthy and prevent it from spreading to our loved ones. It is this vaccine, it’s the best gift you can give this season to others as well as yourself,” Turner said.

As of Dec. 9, U.S. health officials expanded the Pfizer COVID booster shot to those 16 and older. The Moderna and Johnson and Johnson boosters are only available to those 18 and older. 

The Pfizer and Moderna boosters are available six months after the second dose, and the Johnson and Johnson booster shots are available two months after the single shot. 

Click here to find free vaccination sites in Houston

Click here to find free vaccination sites in Harris County.

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