Texas groups pushing to get service workers vaccinated | Local News

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GALVESTON

Debbie Martinez didn’t have to travel far to get her first COVID vaccination.

Martinez, who works at the front desk of seawall hotel The San Luis Resort, needed only to go to the convention center a few blocks from her work and wait a few minutes to get checked in and vaccinated.

It was, by all accounts, a painless process, she said.

“I have more anxiety about not working, really,” said Martinez, who was furloughed in the early days of the pandemic but has since returned to work.

Restaurant and hotel workers have been among the people most affected by job losses during the pandemic. In January, at the height of the second nationwide surge in coronavirus cases, the country lost 498,000 leisure and hospitality jobs. In March 2020, at the outset of the pandemic, more than 500,000 U.S. service workers lost their jobs.

With protective COVID vaccinations now becoming more widely available, some groups are making efforts to get vaccines to people who work in those industries.

The Galveston County Health District on Thursday hosted a vaccination clinic at the Galveston Island Convention Center, 5600 Seawall Blvd. The convention center is within minutes of dozens of hotels and restaurants that depend mostly on tourism.

The clinic was open to anyone who wanted a shot, and the city and health district were encouraging people to just walk into the convention center to be vaccinated. But in the days leading up to the event, local officials made a push to inform hotel and restaurant workers about the offering.

That push was part of the reason Cynthia Diaz got a shot Thursday morning. Diaz, in her 20s, was pleased to finally get a vaccine, after many of her older coworkers already had been vaccinated for weeks, she said.

“I was the only one that didn’t have a vaccine,” said Diaz, who also works at the San Luis Resort. She was excited…