A new push was underway Tuesday to expand access to the COVID-19 vaccine for some of Tarrant County's underserved communities.
Tarrant County Public Health, MedStar and LVTRise joined forces to bring a coronavirus vaccine clinic to the Las Vegas Trail community in West Fort Worth, where people may have difficulties with registration and vaccine accessibility, a news release said.
"I grew up in this neighborhood. Learned to swim in the swimming pool that used to be out there. It's a familiar place and I'm glad that it was near where lots of people in my neighborhood live," Monica Mordaz said of the mobile site.
She was one of the first people to receive a vaccine Tuesday morning at the LVTRise Community Center.
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Mordaz said she registered through Tarrant County about two weeks ago and didn't anticipate an appointment for a while, so she said she was pleasantly surprised when she was notified on Monday.
"Last night I got a call, I'm glad I answered it, and they said, 'Be here by 10 a.m.," Mordaz said.
Vaccines were given to people in the 1A and 1B categories who were pre-registered through the county's database.
According to MedStar, they administered about 101 vaccines between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
LVTRise staff was also on hand to help people with the vaccine registration process.
Walk-ups were allowed around mid-afternoon.
"This type of grass-roots partnership is exactly what's needed to make the COVID vaccine more accessible for residents who are not able to travel to regional vaccine mega-sites. The success of this clinic could serve as a model of how we do similar programs across the region", said Dr. Brian Byrd, the Fort Worth City Council member from District 3, which includes the Las Vegas Trail community and the LVTRise Community Center.
Willie Rankin, executive director of LVTRise, said the event would provide lessons for future, similar events in other areas.
There are talks of future mobile clinics once more vaccines are available.
But even with an effort to reach underserved communities and those in the Black and Latino communities, there's still skepticism.
Mordaz said she believed the benefits outweigh the risks, but she heard from others in the Latino community that have reservations about the shot.
"Maybe there's just lack of information. If the Hispanic, Latino community doesn't trust the vaccine, I say, 'Look what's happening out there in the community. I mean I don't trust going to a restaurant. I don't trust going to parties. Just look at how many families have suffered loss because of this horrible virus. This is medicine, this is science, this is something that we can trust we can get behind it,'" she said.
Anyone who wants to register for the coronavirus vaccine in Tarrant County can do so through the link below.
If you would like to register to receive a COVID-19 vaccination in Tarrant County, click here for more information. You can also call 817-248-6299