Tarrant County

North Texas Could Reach Herd Immunity by Mid-June, Researchers Say

Tarrant County runs out of names on wait list

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Researchers at the UNT Health Science Center predict if COVID-19 vaccination rates continue, North Texas could hit herd immunity by mid-June.

"We are close,” said Dr. Rajesh Nandy, associate professor of biostats and epidemiology at the Fort Worth school. “We can see the end of the tunnel I guess but we are not out of the woods yet."

Nandy said roughly 60% of people in the Dallas-Fort Worth area have either had the virus or the vaccine.

The goal to reach herd immunity is 80%, he said.

"If we maintain the current vaccination rate -- again that's a big if -- but with that rate, we expect to reach the 80% target in mid-June,” Nandy said.

The Tarrant County Public Health Department announced on Friday it had run out of names on its vaccine registration list.

People who sign up now will get an appointment within one or two days, the department said.

"I really believe we are at the tail end of this," said Dr. Rebeca Sharp, an internal medicine specialist in Euless.

Sharp said the challenge will be convincing young people to get a shot.

"I think some people have seen one zombie movie too many and are afraid something like this will give them COVID or give them some kind of weird DNA,” Sharp said. "No, zombies do not exist, and this is not the beginning of the zombie apocalypse."

Nandy said the problem isn’t a lack of vaccines but a shortage of people interested in getting it.

"If you don't take the vaccine, it means we're not reaching herd immunity and that means that the disease is not under control and the effect of the vaccine will also wear off,” he said. “And that means we would live in a permanent Covid state and nobody wants that."

Beginning Sunday, a COVID-19 vaccination clinic will open at AT&T Stadium and run seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

People must register through the Tarrant County online website to get appointments.

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