The same week COVID-19 vaccines became available for all adults across Texas, Dallas County says it’s about to run out of people on its waitlist to vaccinate.
It’s a huge shift from where the county was just a few weeks ago with close to 1 million people registered and waiting for a vaccine.
"We have had over 1.1 million people sign up on the Dallas County list. And almost everyone who lives in Dallas County on that list has received an appointment,” Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said.
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As of Saturday, the list had dwindled to just 100,000 people.
It’s due, in part, to the number of people who’d registered in multiple counties and already received the vaccine elsewhere.
On top of that, Jenkins said the county had received extra doses of the vaccine from sites that had more shots than recipients. This week, it has 108,000 to administer.
To make sure none go to waste, the Fair Park site will accept anyone 65 years old and older without an appointment.
Jenkins said Saturday that only 40,000 people remained on the list who’d yet to receive an appointment time. He said expected all would this week.
That’s the good news.
The bad is that Jenkins said they still have a lot of people to reach.
“Still two-thirds of the people who live here have not gotten their shots yet,” he said.
With wait times cut down, the county plans to ramp up outreach efforts in the weeks to come. That includes pushing out information and calls to get vaccines through local school districts and Dallas College.
Jenkins said they’ll also run buses between vaccination sites and the county’s largest apartment complexes.
"It's really important that everyone does their part. If you already had your shot, tell your friends it was a good thing. Tell your friends why you did it, why they should do it,” Jenkins said. “If you haven't had your shot, why wait any longer? Wait times are short. Just sign up and get a shot."
Though the vaccine’s yet to be approved for children, Jenkins also urged parents Saturday to go ahead and register their kids for the vaccine so they’ll be signed up when the time comes.