With an increased allotment of COVID-19 vaccines this week, MedStar officials are ramping up vaccination efforts through their pop-up clinics.
Michaell Potts, emergency management administrator for MedStar, said they typically aim to host one site weekly for first doses and then another one for second doses. This week, a first-dose site was held at the American Legion Post 655 in Haltom City on Thursday with another one planned for Mount Moriah Missionary Baptist Church in Fort Worth on Friday.
They are working on additional sites for next week, Potts said.
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“There are people who haven’t been able to get their second dose,” he said. “As long as it’s the same vaccine we provide, which is Moderna, we’ll accommodate anybody.”
As of this week, Tarrant County has surpassed one million vaccine doses. 26% of Tarrant County residents have received at least one dose and 17% are fully vaccinated.
As vaccine accessibility expands, Potts said demand has decreased slightly. At their pop-up vaccination site last week, about 380 vaccine doses were administered out of the 800 available.
Though 1,000 doses were available at the Haltom City site Thursday, Potts said they anticipated administering between 500-600.
“The people that wanted to be vaccinated, they got vaccinated pretty quickly through counties and all the various registration sites. Now it’s the people on the fence,” he said. “If it’s convenient for them, they’re going to do it. Sometimes it’s [the] society in general that they don’t necessarily want to schedule it. ‘Yeah, okay…I don’t have anything going on today, so I’ll just pop on in and get vaccinated.’ That’s what our hope is here.”
On Thursday, Terry Graham was one of the people who stopped by the pop-up clinic in Haltom City. For him, time and location have been key.
“If you only got an hour, you don’t want to drive downtown and stand in line or drive thru or whatever it is to make it back to work,” Graham said.
Danielle Bogart of North Richland Hills was also vaccinated at the pop-up site Thursday and cited a similar reason as to why she had to cancel a previously scheduled appointment through Tarrant County Public Health.
“The appointment time they sent me was a big conflict, so I knew this was something I was going to have to find time for and childcare for,” Bogart said. “It was downtown, not super convenient in the middle of the pick-up times for my kids.”
Bogart heard about the pop-up site through an email she received from her children’s school district while she was at work.
“This is something we can do to protect ourselves and protect our kids,” she said. “I hate that phrase ‘back to normal.' Obviously, when things like this happen, there’s no getting back to the way things were before but it’s just educating ourselves and being able to make things better.”
The one-day clinic at Mount Moriah Missionary Baptist Church will have up to 1,000 vaccines available between noon and 7 p.m. Friday. The church is located at 1401 Meadowlane Terrace in Fort Worth. Walk-ups are available for onsite registration, but residents are encouraged to pre-register to ensure they are able to get a vaccine.