Dallas’ mega-site for COVID-19 vaccinations at Fair Park closed Saturday after six months of operation.
The site closed at 5 p.m. Saturday and was expected to administer roughly 500,000 vaccinations in totality since first opening, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said.
The site, like many of the larger vaccine sites, faced complications with demand during its initial months.
“We had our vaccine diverted from us. We had a host of problems, but we worked through all of those problems. Every day, we got a little better,” Jenkins said Saturday. “It’s not where you start, it’s where you finish. It’s getting up every day and committing yourself to getting a little better, making that experience for our residents a little better. Every woman and man who worked here did that.”
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Juan Garcia, of Dallas, received a Johnson & Johnson shot on Saturday. He admitted there has been a hesitancy in getting vaccinated.
“I just wanted to get the information before I took it. I didn’t want to just go out there, take it, then get sick,” Garcia said. “Don’t be afraid of it. Just take the shot. Have the confidence to take it and don’t be afraid of it.”
Outreach efforts in Dallas County will also continue, according to Jenkins.
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On Saturday, about 15 people participated in a “block walkers” event canvassing a West Dallas neighborhood and encouraging people to get vaccinated. Jheison Romain, a policy advisor with Jenkin’s office, said they are still targeting areas where vaccination rates remain low.
Romain said they were there to answer questions and directed people to the nearest clinic or business vaccines were available if they were interested.
“For some, they’re still thinking it,” he said. “So if we let them know this is nearby, it’s convenient for them. It just makes it that much easier.”
Jenkins said as of Saturday, just under 50% of Dallas County residents are not fully vaccinated. While the site at Fair Park has closed as a mass vaccination center, pop-up sites may be hosted there in the future on a much smaller scale.