There’s a new Dallas crusade against COVID-19. This one calls on businesses to register all their employees for vaccination, regardless of age.
And there’s a special focus on African American and Latino workers.
Dallas County business and government leaders Friday said they want people lined up to receive appointments for vaccines when more doses are available.
The leaders staged a press conference at the Dallas Fair Park vaccination hub that was closed Friday for lack of supply. That hub will reopen Monday.
The latest news from around North Texas.
“We are here today asking all of you in the business community to come out and help us register people to get vaccinated,” Dallas County Commissioner Elba Garcia said.
Registration events, like one held in Oak Cliff, signed up 750 people, demonstrate that many residents need help getting on the Dallas County list.
Records show the number of African American and Latino people receiving the vaccine so far is far lower than their numbers in the population.
“We have to make it known in the African American community that we trust this vaccine, that this vaccine is safe,” Dallas City Council Member Casey Thomas said.
Harrison Blair, leader of the Dallas Black Chamber of Commerce, joined the call for business participation.
“We believe that economic policy and health policy are the same at this moment, and we can’t really get back to fixing our economy and making it more inclusive for all communities until we are at capacity for the vaccination,” Blair said.
The government leaders want businesses to offer registration for employees, especially Latino and African American workers.
“The Latino and African American communities are the ones that are keeping our economy going. They're the ones that are at the restaurants. They are the ones that are at the hotels that are still open, that are able to function,” City Council Member Adam Medrano said.
To boost the chance of being called when more doses are available, the officials said it is fine to register in multiple counties. All the state vaccination hubs are obligated to accept any Texas resident.
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.
“We need to use this time right now to get as many people registered as possible, so when those vaccines come, we can get those shots in arms,” Dallas Regional Chamber CEO Dale Petroskey said.
The larger list could help justify more doses from the state.
Dallas City Council Member David Blewett said he hopes Governor Gregg Abbott will respond.
“The City of Dallas, the County of Dallas, is the economic engine of the State of Texas if not the nation and we need more vaccines. So, registration is critically important, but the message also needs to get out there, we need more supply,” Blewett said.
Residents have complained of being turned away from the new City of Dallas vaccination hub at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center when they thought they had valid invitations for a vaccine appointment.
Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said some of those people had invitations for someone else that had been shared.
“Even if you think in good faith that you have an appointment, but it didn't come from us, we don't have a shot for you,” Jenkins said.
A new registration vendor and new procedures approved by Dallas County Commissioners this week could help avoid confusion, Jenkins said.
Despite the complications, the push is for a massive increase in the already long waiting list for COVID-19 vaccines.
Texas COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution
Data from the Texas Department of State Health Services shows where COVID-19 vaccines have been sent around the state. Click on a marker to find out information about each location. Use the "plus" and "minus" signs below to zoom in and out of the map.
From the Texas DSHS: Availability of COVID-19 vaccines lilsted on this map are based on shipping information and reporting to the DSHS directly by facilities. Please contact providers in advance to confirm vaccination location and hours, that they have vaccine on hand and that you are eligible for vaccination at that site. Not all providers are vaccinating the public or people in all priority groups. Vaccine is available at no charge, regardless of insurance status.
*Map locations are approximate, central locations for the city and are not meant to indicate where actual infected people live.