Fair Park

First Week of Vaccinations at Fair Park Wraps Up After Some Confusion, Controversy

More than 10,000 people were vaccinated at the site last week, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins says

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After several days of confusion and long wait times, the first week of vaccinations at Fair Park in Dallas came to an end Saturday. 

It was a rollercoaster few days, but overall, a successful week getting people vaccinated, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said.

“Over 10,000 people that didn’t have shots on Monday have them now, and that’s a great thing,” he said.

Cynthia Johnson said she was able to get her 82-year old father vaccinated Saturday.

“I’m very concerned for him, that’s why I was anxious for him to get the shot because we just lost my mom in October due to COVID-19," Johnson said. "So we really wanted to make sure we get the shot."

Johnson, who didn’t have an appointment, said she was able to get vaccinated too, because of an exception.

“1A caregivers who are accompanying a 75-year-old or a spouse that is over the age of 70 can get a shot if they come with the person that comes with an appointment,” Jenkins said.

Other people like Rogelio Rodriguez, who came by himself and didn’t have an appointment, left disappointed. 

There were confusion and controversy earlier this week, as the mega-site accepted people over the age of 75 without an appointment

Leonesea Morgan, who said she’s an essential worker, was turned away Saturday. 

“When I got there, they said only 75 years old and with appointments, so it’s really discouraging. Very unclear,” Morgan said.

She said she planned to try again.  

“I’ll be back here. I think it’s very important to get vaccinated so we can slow the roll and curve of the disease,” Morgan said.

Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson sent a letter to Jenkins on Wednesday that he had "serious concerns about communication and decision-making by Dallas County" after being told someone was able to walk-up and be vaccinated at the county's large-scale hub without first registering and receiving an appointment.

Johnson said that he also learned Jenkins "had communicated this policy change to a select group of residents Tuesday" and that he also "requested their agreement to not share this information widely."

Jenkins replied to the mayor's letter Wednesday night saying his letter was not accurate and that vaccines were distributed to remedy a problem caused by a Dallas City Council member that led to fewer vaccines than expected being administered on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The problem Jenkins is referring to occurred when hundreds of people showed up to be vaccinated after piggybacking on valid appointments made by family and friends, a situation county officials said caused confusion and delays.

Dallas County Health and Human Services scheduled to receive 9,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services.

Meanwhile, Parkland Memorial Hospital held a vaccine event Saturday morning but posted that all its vaccines were administered and are now all gone. Parkland is slated to get 10,725 doses of the Pfizer vaccine next week, according to DSHS.

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