Some North Texans who received a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine fear the second dose may not be available on schedule.
Reports from patients who've had trouble making promised appointments for their follow up shots supported those fears.
It is a serious concern for UT Southwestern patient Leticia Benavides because needed medication for her osteoporosis was put on hold as she waits for the second vaccine dose.
The latest news from around North Texas.
Want to Get on a Vaccine Waitlist?
As the state begins to distribute the COVID-19 vaccines for those in Phase 1A and 1B, county health departments have begun waitlists for those wish to be inoculated.
You can now 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.
She said she has been checking UTSW’s “MyChart” as she was told to do to make that appointment.
“They put a thing on 'MyChart' that says it’s okay to wait up to 6 weeks, but for me it’s not going to be okay,” Benavides said.
She was due in early January for the Prolia shot she takes every 6 months to protect her bones. Her doctor said to put it off until two weeks after the second vaccine shot.
“I'd rather break a bone than die for COVID, right? But now I see all the people getting the second shot, so I need my second shot,” she said.
UT Southwestern patient Emily Anderson said Friday that she had a similar experience trying to make a promised appointment for a second shot next week.
“Actually just a few minutes ago I was told that they didn’t have any doses at this time,” Anderson said.
She is a cancer survivor, so she qualified for early vaccination.
Anderson said she understands this is not the typical time for medical appointments and that different second dose schedules for the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines pose an additional complication for providers.
“I understand that. But it’s still frustrating as the patient to have other people who have gotten those vaccines and they have their second dose scheduled, and I have nothing,” Anderson said.
The vaccination hub overseen by Dallas County at Fair Park geared up Friday for a switch to a nearly all drive-through operation Monday to expand capacity.
“We all want more vaccine. We want to get everyone vaccinated but there's still limited supply,” said Dallas County Health Director Dr. Philips Huang.
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.
The Health Director said Dallas County is expecting 12,000 second doses next week and 9,000 first doses.
“The state is making sure that everyone that received an allocation for the first dose will receive that allocation for the second dose,” Huang said.
Parkland Hospital is providing vaccines at the main campus on Harry Hines Boulevard, along with drive through vaccinations at the Ellis-Davis Field House in far southern Dallas and Eastfield College in Mesquite.
A Parkland spokesperson Friday reported no problems with second dose appointments.
And UT Southwestern issued a statement saying adequate second dose supplies are expected next week and patients should be able to make appointments soon.
“It's not a capricious thing on my part. It's that I need it now,” Benavides said.
Health officials expect people to return to their original provider for the required second dose of the COVID-19 vaccines currently in use.
The State of Texas announced Friday that 401,750 first vaccine doses will be allocated the week of Feb. 8. That’s about 100,000 fewer than there were the week before.
Additionally, 330,925 second doses will be available.
Through Friday, nearly 2.9 million vaccine doses had been administered in Texas to 2.2 million people.