Dallas County residents who qualify for the COVID-19 vaccine in phases 1A and 1B can register online to be inoculated, the county health department announced Saturday.
The online registration and pre-screening is for people to be vaccinated through Dallas County Health and Human Services, not for all health care providers in the county.
Health officials said Saturday vaccine supply was limited, but they expected more doses "in the coming weeks and months."
"Currently, this DCHHS site will only sign up Dallas County residents and priority within 1B will be given to those with the highest vulnerability scores until more vaccine is available," Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said in a statement. "Meanwhile, we are working with the DFW Hospital Council and others to ramp up equitable and rapid vaccinations countywide."
Click here to register and find more information about the COVID-19 vaccine. Phases 1A and 1B are determined by the Texas Department of State Health Services.
“As more vaccine becomes available, we will work through the registration list and determine eligibility. We hope to receive additional allocations from the state soon so that we can continue to work with our partners and begin to meet the needs of our community and turn the corner in the fight against this virus,” Director of Dallas County Health and Human Services Dr. Philip Huang said in a statement.
Full coverage of the COVID-19 outbreak and how it impacts you
Efforts to vaccinate first responders resumed Saturday at the Kay Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas. This week, the city began widespread vaccinations for first responders from Dallas Fire-Rescue, the Dallas Police Department, and Dallas City Marshals after it received 2,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine from the state.
“Right now, as we go through the process of rolling it out, we’re learning about how to do it perfectly,” Dallas Fire Chief Dominique Artis said. “This is the start of coming out of this dark tunnel. We can see the light. We’re just trying to get to the light now.”
Department spokesperson Jason Evans said they expected to complete the first allocation by Tuesday or Wednesday. There have been no significant operational challenges so far, Evans said.
“We have administered those to health care frontline workers in group 1A. So, we’re currently out of vaccine,” Jenkins said. “We still have 1As to get, but we’re trying to get a system set up to open it up to 1B as well.”
In Dallas County, the allotment for DCHHS has not been opened to people considered to be part of the “1B” group, which includes those 65 and older, plus 16 and older with at least one chronic health condition. However, some entities, like certain hospitals and doctors’ offices, have already started offering vaccines to those in the 1B group.
When widespread access for 1B will available through the county is difficult to gauge at this time, Jenkins said.
“It depends on how big the allotment is. This is going to improve continually. CVS, Walgreens, and others don’t have the capabilities to get the 1Bs off the street yet, but that will happen soon," he said. "There’s going to be those opportunities to get 1B. My hope is this weekend or maybe Monday, that Dallas County Health and Human Services will get up a website so that you can get on a waiting list with us.”
Moving forward, he said he believed there needed to be better communication between the state and hospitals. For the time being, he is urging people to remain vigilant with COVID-19 protocols and to be patient as vaccine efforts ramp up.
“It doesn’t mean we need to patient and sit on the couch and wait for someone else but we need to be patient and realize that you’re trying to get your grandmother a shot but 30 million Texans are trying to get their grandmother a shot too,” he said.
*Map locations are approximate, central locations for the city and are not meant to indicate where actual infected people live.