During the first two days of mass COVID-19 vaccinations at Dallas' Fair Park vaccine hub, hundreds of people showed up to be vaccinated after piggybacking on valid appointments made by family and friends, a situation county officials say caused confusion and delays.
According to Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins, people who received appointment confirmation emails from the county were then forwarding those emails to friends and family or copying the live appointment link in neighborhood newsletters or on social media.
Jenkins compared it to people receiving counterfeit concert tickets through no fault of their own.
“Someone’s father who qualified for the shot but had already gotten it at another hospital, put that link on social media and put it on a newsletter that went out to a neighborhood and people signed up through that live link,” said Jenkins. “We’ve had hundreds, maybe 1,000, who signed up on that link who did not get an invitation directly from the county.”
Initially the county allowed those who signed up through the forwarded links to receive a vaccine, while they sorted through the confusion.
On Wednesday, the county said people who schedule an appointment off the forwarded link and did not receive it directly from DCHHS, do not have valid appointments and will be turned away at the gate. An official also said the problem has been fixed and should no longer be an issue.
One Frisco woman in her 60s told us she and her husband reserved an appointment time after the link was shared by a co-worker. They arrived at Fair Park at 5:30 a.m. Wednesday believing they had an appointment, only to be turned away a few hours later.
The latest news from around North Texas.
She said she understands what happened but the mass confusion surrounding the rollout process in Texas is only leading to more problems.
“Misinformation is worse than no information,” she told NBC 5.
To register for any county waitlist, you must use their link (see below).
Want to Get on a Vaccine Waitlist?
County health departments have launched waitlists for adults 16 years old and over.
You can register to recieve the vaccination in Collin, Dallas, Denton and Tarrant counties. Links are below:
You do not need to be a resident of the county to register for a COVID-19 vaccine in that county -- registration is open to anyone in Texas. For those without internet access, Tarrant County is also taking registrations by phone at 817-248-6299. In Dallas County, call the DCHHS vaccine hotline at 1-855-IMMUNE9 (1-855-466-8639). In Denton County, call 940-349-2585.
For a more detailed breakdown of who is included in each priority group in Texas, see this page from the Texas DSHS.
Once registered, you will then receive an email within a few days confirming you are on the waitlist.
Once you are eligible to receive a vaccine, the county will then notify you of an appointment with an email, text or call using the contact information you provided in your registration.
The state of Texas currently allows anyone over the age 65 or with at least one chronic health condition to be vaccinated. However,Dallas County Public Health said this week they are only vaccinating those 75 and older and are focused on protecting those most vulnerable.