From now on, Dallas County officials said Friday it will be appointments only for future COVID-19 vaccinations after two days of confusion and long waits for walk-up vaccines with no appointment.
That announcement came on the same day that Dallas County reported 2,817 new COVIDovid-19 cases and 24 more deaths.
The line of waiting cars stretched a mile from Fair Park Friday afternoon and some people said it took six hours to make it through the line and get vaccinated.
Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said people over 75 years of age were invited in tweets to visit Fair Park without appointments Thursday and Friday because the county’s website for making appointments was compromised.
“Calling people down here based on age, only happened today, but we had to do that because when our appointment system was hacked, we would either do that or we would sit here with no appointments,” Jenkins said.
Want to Get on a Vaccine Waitlist?
County health departments have launched waitlists for adults 16 years old and over.
You can register to recieve the vaccination in Collin, Dallas, Denton and Tarrant counties. Links are below:
You do not need to be a resident of the county to register for a COVID-19 vaccine in that county -- registration is open to anyone in Texas. For those without internet access, Tarrant County is also taking registrations by phone at 817-248-6299. In Dallas County, call the DCHHS vaccine hotline at 1-855-IMMUNE9 (1-855-466-8639). In Denton County, call 940-349-2585.
For a more detailed breakdown of who is included in each priority group in Texas, see this page from the Texas DSHS.
Jenkins said over 75 was selected to help protect the most vulnerable population.
The latest news from around North Texas.
“We’re doing what we can do, based on science, to save as many lives as possible,” Jenkins said.
Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price said people 65 and up should have been invited, to correspond with standing vaccination groups and with the county’s needs assessment for livability in Southern Dallas.
“CDC, Parkland and all of the providers are saying 65 and up. You don't get the opportunity to say, 'Huh, I'll do 75,'” Price said.
Online, many people complained that Jenkins tweeted invitation was contrary to the county website instructions that prescribe appointments.
“The tweets are the personal purview of the Judge. It's not like the County is tweeting,” Price said. “You’re sending mixed messages. They’re convoluted. They are confusing.”
Jenkins said the situation is evolving and more population groups would be added in the future for vaccinations as supplies arrive, but only by appointment.
“Just be patient with us as we improve the process each day,” Jenkins said.
The County Judge said every Dallas County resident, regardless of age, should register for a vaccination on the Dallas County website, even if they are not yet included in a current vaccination category.
Everyone will get their turn and being on the list will get you a place in line when the vaccination groups expand.
Jenkins said around 2,800 vaccinations were provided Thursday and slightly more were expected Friday.
Dallas County will provide vaccinations by appointment at Fair Park on Saturday. There will be no vaccinations offered on Sunday or Monday, the Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday.
*Map locations are approximate, central locations for the city and are not meant to indicate where actual infected people live.
**County totals below include all 32 North Texas counties, not just Collin, Dallas, Denton and Tarrant.