Hundreds turned out to a vaccination clinic Saturday at South Oak Cliff High School in the city's latest effort to make COVID-19 vaccines more accessible in high-need areas.
The 75216 ZIP code where the school is located is one of the 17 that FEMA prioritized in the county for the mass vaccination site at Fair Park, and was ranked as one of the five unhealthiest in the county in Parkland Hospital's 2019 Community Health Needs Assessment.
South Oak Cliff High Principal Willie Johnson knows the area is one of the highest need in the city.
“This is the first vaccination site that’s in the 75216 ZIP code," Johnson said. "And it’s also the first community site."
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Johnson said he hopes Saturday's clinic is just the beginning of closing the vaccination gap and that there will be future clinics in the area.
On Saturday, Johnson was helping out where he could at the clinic.
“I’m filling out forms. I’m doing whatever it takes to help out our elderly get inoculated,” he said.
About 300 people showed up and received the Johnson & Johnson vaccination, according to a city spokesperson.
“I’m very excited finally to get it, and to find a place that has it on the weekends,” Norma Villegas said.
Darryl Plant, who has one of the medical conditions that puts people at high-risk for severe ill from COVID-19, attended Saturday's clinic.
“I’ve got my family making me get it because I’m diabetic,” Plant said.
Nearby neighborhoods have been hit especially hard by the virus.
Marsalis Park HOA President Ola Allen, who helped direct traffic, spread the word earlier in the week about the site.
“Sometimes it takes an extra mile, that extra step. You have to encourage them, and give them the reason why they should have it, and how they can benefit,” she said.