Finding a COVID-19 shot in Dallas just became easier.
On Wednesday, the drive-thru vaccination site at Ellis Davis Field House in Dallas allowed people to receive a vaccination without an appointment, according to Parkland Hospital.
The vaccine hub, which is operated by Parkland Hospital, said it would start allowing those without an appointment to get a shot between the hours of 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday. The site is closed on Sunday.
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Ellis Davis Field House is located in the southern part of Dallas County, an area that's been hit hard by COVID-19. There's a continued push to get people from Black and Latino communities vaccinated.
Part of the issue in getting people from underserved areas vaccinated has been the lack of internet access, which is part of the reason for eliminating the need for an appointment.
"Now that it's open to the general public, why exclude those that don't have access to make those appointments in our community, those that don't have internet, or smart phones, and can get on and get appointments and so we decided, why not just open it up," said Samia Zia, Director for Strategy and Integration at Parkland Hospital.
She noticed people who live in the area were coming to the site and found that encouraging.
"I've been putting it off and today said, let me go ahead and see what you can make happen, and I'm here," said Genean Smith who lives less than ten minutes from the site.
She said it's been difficult finding a place close by that has availability for a vaccine. Smith said once she heard on the news Ellis Davis Field House was open for people to just show up, she jumped on the opportunity.
"I think a lot more people would get to places if it's closer to them and then to take out the equation of no appointments, that can really reach the masses, I think that's the overall theme that they're trying to do is get everybody vaccinated so we can all get back to normal," said Smith.
Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price, who represents District 3 said the expansion of the site means more access for people who don't have internet or smart phones.
“We’re not having to depend on the digital divide, that’s always been a challenge," said Price.
He said while it's great the county had set up telephone line as an alternative way to signup for an appointment, this drive-up option is even more helpful.
But even with this, there are still hurdles to cross.
“You’re in certain communities that still are transportation deprived even, so the walk up defiantly goes a long way, but also it’s really about area," said Price.
During Tuesday's commissioner's court, he brought up this point and asked Dallas County Health and Human Services what the department is doing to target those who can't get around.
"You’re going to be able to demonstrate that you’re able to get access to those individuals whoa re home bound," said Price. "I know we have relationships with Meals on Wheels and visiting nurse associations, but I want to see metrics, we want to see who in fact who you’re serving."
Dr. Philip Huang, the director for DCHHS, said they're working with fire departments like Cedar Hill, to make home callas and administer the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which is a single shot, to those who don't have transportation.
In the meantime, they're urging people to go to Ellis Davis Field House if they can.
According to a spokesperson, the site is currently administering the Pfizer vaccine which is approved for those 16 and up. Minors must be accompanied by an adult.
They have 1,500 shots available everyday.
The site will continue to vaccinate those with an appointment, in addition to those who show up without one.
The Ellis Davis Field House is located at 9191 S. Polk St. in Dallas.
For more information visit, Parkland Hospital's COVID-19 resource.