Town Square

What You Need To Know About Vaccine Efficacy And Getting Vaccinated

Infectious disease expert Dr. Jill Weatherhead answers listeners’ questions about vaccines and helps us continue to understand vaccine safety and efficacy.


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Town Square with Ernie Manouse airs at 3 p.m. CT. Tune in on 88.7FM, listen online or subscribe to the podcast. Join the discussion at 888-486-9677, or @townsquaretalk.

There's a lot of information out there – numbers from every direction:

Number of new COVID variants, positivity rates, numbers of vaccines and their efficacy percentages, age limits, doses of vaccine being being deployed.

It's easy to get confused.

But what numbers should we be paying attention to? And what do they actually mean?

Many of us have become "armchair virologists" in an effort to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe.

And if you're listening to this show, we hope that's a sign that you're staying informed.

That's what we are here for.

Today, Dr. Jill Weatherhead of Baylor College Medicine breaks down COVID numbers and headlines, including vaccine guidelines for pregnant women. She also answers listeners' questions.

Guest is:

Dr. Jill Weatherhead:

  • Assistant Professor in Tropical Medicine and in Infectious Disease at Baylor College of Medicine

Houston Public Media senior web producer Paul DeBenedetto also joins Ernie with latest COVID news in the Houston area, including:

  • The city is trying to reach medically-underserved communities with vaccines.
  • This past weekend, a community clinic opened in Alief, where 500 people were given doses. The city wants to open another community clinic this coming weekend, somewhere in Northeast Houston.
  • Mayor Sylvester Turner said the plan is to make vaccine distribution "more equitable."
  • City believes it will avoid problems experienced in Dallas, which had a plan to prioritize vaccinating communities of color. The state said that wasn't acceptable and threatened to cut their vaccine distributions.
  • Houston would not be solely vaccinating certain communities, but implementing an additional vaccine program to reach medically-underserved communities on top of the general vaccine program.
  • As of this morning, Houston has received 41,950 "first doses" and administered 33,839. That's about 80%.
  • Houston has also received 18,600 "second" doses. Just about 2300 of those were administered, but another ~12,000 appointment have been made.

Sign up for the Harris County COVID-19 Vaccine Waitlist

Town Square with Ernie Manouse is a gathering space for the community to come together and discuss the day’s most important and pressing issues.

Audio from today's show will be available after 5 p.m. CT. We also offer a free podcast here, on iTunes, and other apps.

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This article is part of the Town Square with Ernie Manouse podcast

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Catherine Lu

Catherine Lu

Senior Content Producer & Announcer

While growing up in Chicago and Houston, Catherine’s love for art, music and creative writing was influenced by her teachers and parents. She was once concertmaster of the Clear Lake High School Orchestra and a four-time violinist of the Texas All-State Symphony. A graduate of the University of Chicago, Catherine...

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