Dallas County health leaders on Tuesday shared encouraging news, the community could reach "herd immunity" from COVID-19 sooner than previously thought, but it's dependent on picking up the pace of vaccinations.
Dallas County has passed the halfway point toward "herd immunity", said Dr. Steve Miff with the Parkland Center for Clinical Innovation.
And, the county could reach a critical point of "herd immunity" by mid-June, Miff said.
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According to data shared by PCCI, 44% of the 2.6 million adult residents of Dallas County have either recovered from COVID-19 or have received at least one dose of the vaccine as of February 22.
Dr. Miff said Dallas County is on track to have 80% percent of county residents at "herd immunity" by early summer based on infection rates and the ability to vaccinate 65,000 residents per week.
Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said the forecast is "good news" but it's dependent on increasing the pace of vaccinations.
The forecast comes the same week as Jenkins called on Governor Greg Abbott to reverse cuts to the county's allocation of vaccines from the state.
The state of Texas cut its weekly allocation of vaccines to sites in Dallas and Tarrant County. Jenkins said it resulted in a loss of 42,000 first doses for the region.
Jenkins said the state cuts were a response to both counties partnering with the federal government to bring two new FEMA vaccine sites to the region.
"Obviously that’s not right," Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said. "North Texas should not be punished by the state because local officials were successful in getting more vaccines from the Biden administration."
Jenkins said the county would be less likely to reach 'herd immunity' by June if the state continues to cut their weekly allotments.
In a press conference Tuesday, Jenkins asked Dallas County residents to reach out to their state lawmakers and Governor Abbott to appeal the decision.
In a statement to NBC5 earlier this week, a spokesperson for the Department of State Health Services said the decision was made to send more vaccines to other parts of the state.