More than 130,000 people have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in Dallas County with hundreds of thousands registered and waiting, county officials say.
Around 400,000 people have registered through Dallas County for a vaccine, according to Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins.
“Obviously, we have got a long way to go with 2.7 million people but every day, we get a little better,” Jenkins said.
In the upcoming eighth week of vaccine allocations, Dallas County’s hub providers are expecting more than 43,000 vaccine doses. Just under 5,000 additional doses will be shipped to other providers like pharmacies and clinics in the county, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services.
“Anywhere where you’re getting shots in the arms of the most vulnerable people is a good thing,” Jenkins said. “There are things that need to be improved. The appointment system will be improved next week. That will increase and stop the unauthorized forwarding of links, which has caused a lot of angst and problems for people.”
As the county looks for improvements surrounding the distribution process, others have led efforts to assist with registration. People were lined up outside Pleasant Oaks Recreation Center to get help signing up for a vaccine.
The site was hosted by District 5 Dallas City Council member Jaime Resendez.
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“We understand that southeast Dallas is a community where there’s a high percentage of households that lack internet access. There’s a high percentage of individuals that don’t have as much as transportation,” Resendez said. “We all have to be a part of the solution. We all have to take responsibility to get registered for the vaccine, to help others get registered for the vaccine.”
Dallas resident Patricia King said she waited in line for about two hours Sunday. King, who works as a home-aid caregiver, said she has also been helping a 97-year-old woman in her care get registered.
“I registered her too but not here,” King said, in reference to the Pleasant Oaks registration site. “They haven’t have called yet.”
Signing up for multiple waitlists as recommended by county leaders has come with some challenges, King said.
“When you Google, then you have to fill out the form and everything,” she said. “I’m hoping that since I have underlying conditions and I’m a caregiver -- I’m hoping I can get a vaccine as soon as I can.”
Two ZIP codes in Resendez’s district, 75217 and 75227, have been considered among the hardest-hit communities during the pandemic. Initially, county leaders planned to prioritize vaccine availability by ZIP code.
However, the plan was rescinded on Jan. 19 after DSHS said it violated the terms outlined in the agreement to vaccinate all eligible people regardless of where they reside.
Jenkins said there are prioritization efforts in place, but it has been adjusted from the original plan.
“The difference in the original plan and what we’re doing is we are prioritizing certain older populations and sicker people in certain ZIP codes with high spread, but not excluding the possibility of people getting shots who fit the criteria from other ZIP codes as well,” he explained. “The plan that was rejected was an exclusion plan. This is a priority plan.”
A list of vaccine waitlists and registration sites across North Texas can be found here.
For a list to Week 8 of the vaccine allocations across Texas, click here.