Dallas County Health and Human Services expects to open a COVID-19 vaccine mega center in Fair Park next week with the ability to vaccinate up to 2,000 people per day as the state moves to open more large-scale vaccination hubs.
County officials say they plan to start Monday but that may depend on when they get the next shipment of vaccine from the Texas Department of State Health Services.
Vaccines will be administered only to those on the DCHHS waiting list and by appointment only -- they will not be given to the general public or to walk-ups. Dallas County is currently only vaccinating those in Phase 1A, but expects to begin vaccinating those in Phase 1B when the mega center opens next week.
If you would like to register to receive a COVID-19 vaccination in Dallas County, click here for more information.
The county is also planning on providing vaccinations for up to 1,000 people per day at the Ellis Davis Field House and Eastfield College in addition to the 2,000 people per day at the Fair Park mega center.
The COVID-19 vaccine is currently only being administered to those who are part of Phase 1A and 1B, as outlined by the Texas Department of State Health Services. Those in Phase 1A are front-line healthcare workers or residents of long-term care facilities. Phase 1B includes those who are over the age of 65, or those over the age of 16 with a chronic medical condition that puts them at risk for severe illness.
Once vaccinated, people are expected to get some level of protection within a couple of weeks after the first shot, but full protection may not happen until a couple of weeks after the second shot. Even when fully vaccinated, it's still possible to become infected by the virus since the vaccine does not offer 100% protection.
The Fair Park vaccine mega center comes as the state health department begins directing vaccines to providers who can vaccinate more than 100,000 people at large-scale vaccination hubs.
"Providers that receive larger amounts of the vaccine will vaccinate health care workers, people who are 65 and older, and those who have a medical condition that increases their risk of severe disease or death. They also agree to provide a registration phone number and website and focus on areas and populations hardest hit by COVID-19 while vaccinating people from surrounding areas," the DSHS said in a prepared statement.
The Texas DSHS said they will publish the complete list of vaccine hub providers later this week, once vaccine allocation is finalized.
Additional vaccines will still be distributed to smaller providers in other parts of the state -- in total Texas will distribute a total of about 200,000 doses of vaccine next week to both large and small providers statewide.
"Vaccine remains limited based on the capacity of the manufacturers to produce it, so it will take time for Texas to receive enough vaccine for the people in the priority populations who want to be vaccinated," the DSHS said. "The supply is expected to increase in the coming months, and additional vaccines are in clinical trials and may be authorized by the Food and Drug Administration."
The week of Jan. 11 is the last week the state is required to reserve doses to vaccinate residents and staff of long-term care facilities under the federal pharmacy-LTC partnership, meaning the following week more vaccines will be freed up for use in other settings.
NBC 5's Katy Blakey contributed to this report.