The University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth and Tarrant County are opening a new COVID-19 vaccination site on Tuesday.
The new vaccination site is at the Saginaw Recreation Center, located at 633 West McLeroy Boulevard.
The site will be open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. by appointment only.
“We had south [location] with Resource Connection, Bob Bolen, northeast. We had Arlington. We needed something in that quadrant in the northwest part of Tarrant County,” Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley said.
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According to HSC Fort Worth, Tarrant County will allocate vaccine doses and contact people to make appointments at the recreation center operated by the city of Saginaw.
“Today, they’re going to start with just over 300 vaccines. That will quickly ramp up to 600. So, we’re going to do 600 a day, over 30,000 vaccines for the time they’re here in Saginaw. There’s a chance that could be extended if they’re very successful,” Saginaw Mayor Todd Flippo said.
The new vaccination site is part of a collaboration between HSC Fort Worth and Tarrant County to expand access to the vaccine in historically underserved and hard-to-reach communities, HSC said.
The first vaccine site opened on March 23 at the Brighter Outlook Inc., located at 4910 Dunbar Street. The facility is operated by the Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church in southeast Fort Worth.
"The opening of the second vaccination site is an important next step in our partnership to build trust and expand access to the COVID-19 vaccine in communities across Tarrant County," Dr. Sylvia Trent-Adams, HSC chief strategy officer, said. "The new site will offer people in Saginaw and surrounding communities a convenient and accessible location to help protect themselves and their families through vaccination."
Trent-Adams said they are also vetting four more potential sites in Ridgmar, Arlington, Grand Prairie and Haltom City. Discussions surrounding site locations include input from Tarrant County Public Health.
Tarrant County Public Health Director Vinny Taneja said there are several factors when it comes to considering sites.
“Haltom City, for example, lot of issues. I mean, socially vulnerable population in different pockets of that, low sign-up rates, low vaccination rates,” Taneja said. “So in our view, it becomes a perfect place to put a site in. That way, it takes away the barrier of, 'Oh, I got to go somewhere.' It’s right in your community.”
According to HSC Fort Worth, the Saginaw site will help reach Southeast Asian families who resettled in Northwest Tarrant County after leaving countries such as Laos and Vietnam.
Several generations of refugees and immigrants from Southeast Asia and Latin America live in north Fort Worth, Haltom City, Keller, Saginaw, and Watauga, and signs at the vaccination site will be in English, Spanish and Vietnamese to help guide visitors.
"We really appreciate HSC and Tarrant County bringing vaccines to Saginaw," Flippo said. "I am excited to get many of our residents and community members vaccinated quickly. This is a pathway back to normalcy and helping to defeat the COVID-19 virus."
HSC Fort Worth said a lack of internet access and technical barriers have been identified as registration obstacles for many residents in underserved communities, so HSC student volunteers are offering on-site registration assistance at the Stop Six site and at other areas across Tarrant County to help people navigate the process.