The city and county of Dallas opened a mega COVID-19 vaccination site at Fair Park on Monday where the county health department hopes up to 2,000 people will be vaccinated each day.
"We will get thousands of our most vulnerable residents vaccinated at Fair Park this next week with well over 100,000 people on the list, the list growing daily, and the state giving us enough vaccines to vaccinate six to seven thousand people this week," Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said in a statement. "We obviously won't get to everyone, so I appreciate your patience and grace as we work through the task of mass vaccination for North Texas."
If you would like to register to receive a COVID-19 vaccination in Dallas County, click here for more information.
Jenkins said fire and EMT departments are helping administer the vaccine and observing people for side efects after.
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.
"With over 100,000 residents registered and many more in need of vaccination, this partnership with the county is fundamental to return to some sense of normalcy," Office of Emergency Management Director Rocky Vaz said in a written statement.
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.
Vaccinations at all three sites will be by appointment only from Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., pending vaccine availability. They will not be given to walk-ups and they will not yet be given to the general public.
Dallas County and non-Dallas County residents who qualify for the vaccine under Phase 1A or Phase 1B may register for an appointment on the Dallas County website. Registrants will get a confirmation email notifying them that they have pre-registered and more about next steps.
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.
People like 98-year-old Victoria Fowler, who caught the coronavirus before and was hospitalized, couldn't wait to get the vaccine on Monday.
"“I want it, I don’t want to get sick," said Fowler.
"The actual injection was real simple, you don’t even feel it," said John Custer, 76 ,who received the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine Monday morning. He and his wife Tama Cole,72, wanted the vaccine because of their age. They said overall, the county did an 'excellent' job.
"It was very well organized, I think they did a good job. We understand they put this together in three days," said Custer.
Jenkins said overall the day ran smoothly, but there were some hiccups in the morning that were straightened out.
Custer, and his wife Tama Cole, said they suggest more wheel chairs.
"It’s a little bit tough for people that are elderly or have a hard time standing, it’s a long walk up there and you’ve got to wait in long lines, but it took us an hour and half, end-to-end," said Custer.
The Dallas County Judge said they plan on ordering more wheelchairs to help people get through the lines.
When it comes to the second dose, Jenkins said people will be given an appointment to get it at Fair Park.
Dallas residents may call dallascityhall.com/covid19 or call 214-670-4636 for more information about COVID-19.