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Vaccine clinics get creative as COVID-19 surge continues

Bubba's 33 vaccine clinic
Posted at 10:29 PM, Aug 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-09 23:29:26-04

WACO, TX — The Waco-McLennan County Public Health District is responding to slow vaccination rates and surging cases by hosting more clinics. Some of those are happening in surprising places.

On Monday, a clinic even took place at Bubba's 33 in Waco, where the restaurant offered a free 12-inch pizza voucher to everyone getting vaccinated.

"It's a plus for people to actually get people to come out and come and do it," said Jordan Robert Fuller, who got vaccinated at Bubba's on Monday.

While the free pizza was an added bonus, it wasn't the only reason people were coming out to get their shot. The health district said they have seen a lot of people decide it's time to get vaccinated this past week in response to a surge in cases and hospitalizations.

"With the kids going back to school, just wanted to give them a little extra protection," said Jessica Arausa, who got vaccinated with her daughters.

The Bubba's 33 clinic is just one of many non-traditional vaccine settings that the district has been using. They've gone directly to schools, and even Downtown Waco's 7th Street Plaza, bringing the vaccine straight to people in town.

"It helps people who are on the fence sometimes to go ahead and get vaccinated to protect themselves and their families," Waco-McLennan County Public Health District vaccine lead Chris Shelley said.

While they can't offer incentives themselves, the health district said there is plenty of room for other community partnerships in the future.

"To beat this virus, to beat this pandemic, it's going to take a community effort," said Kelly Craine, communications lead for the district.

As of Friday, 42 percent of those 12 years and older are fully vaccinated in McLennan County. The health district said they hope to see the number improve substantially by the end of August.

The district and Bubba's 33 are partnering for another clinic this Friday, August 13. To learn more about the clinics or to register, visit the public health district's COVID-19 website.