CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — In hopes of ramping up the area's COVID-19 vaccination rates, Nueces County Judge Barbara Canales has announced a new campaign.
"Why should you get the vaccine? Why is it important to you and your family? I want everyone to make an informed decision," Canales said. "I don't want to push a decision, but I want you to make a good decision based on the facts."
The "Why Campaign" is set to launch next week.
It's meant to provide information to those who may still be hesitant about getting vaccinated.
Keeping the community informed is crucial, Canales said.
Residents need to know about the delta variant and how the current vaccine doesn't fully protect you from the virus, although it does lower your risk of being hospitalized.
And what about herd immunity?
That's when enough people are protected because they've either already gotten the virus or have been fully vaccinated.
We've been told 70 to 80 percent of the population needs to be vaccinated to achieve herd immunity.
But as the virus changes, so do that threshold.
"As the virus is twice as contagious, you need a higher level of immunity in order to create herd immunity," said Dr. Bob Wachter, the department of medicine chair at the University of California at San Francisco. Department of Medicine Chair, UCSF. "So I think 90 percent is a reasonable guess."
Health experts say with herd immunity, it's all or nothing.
Places with higher vaccination rates will see fewer cases than those with lower rates.
Gov. Greg Abbott says he will not impose another mask mandate.
"The reasons for that are very clear and that is, there are so many people who have immunities to COVID, whether it be through the vaccination, whether it be through their own exposure and their recovery from it which would be acquired immunity and that is, it would be inappropriate to require people who already have immunity to wear a mask," Abbott said.
Instead of a mask mandate, Abbott says he's working with local officials to make sure they have supplies needed to vaccinate more residents.
President Joe Biden says some kids may need to mask up when they return to school this year.
He says the Centers for Disease Control will likely soon advise unvaccinated kids under the age of 12 to wear masks at school.
Currently, there is no COVID-19 vaccine approved for children under 12.
The president says vaccinated children over the age of 12 should be okay to return to class without a mask.