With the waiting list for a vaccine in Dallas County now one million people long, those with time are turning to the road.
Many are making the hour or so drive down I-45 to Corsicana, a little pocket of small town charm, and more importantly, an ample vaccine supply.
“We are getting an allocation of about 1,500 shots every week,” said Fire Chief Paul Henley.
The latest news from around North Texas.
Henley’s in charge of running Navarro County’s vaccination clinic, staffed with Corsicana firefighters, police officers, volunteers and Navarro College nursing students.
In the last few weeks, Henley said they’ve been able to send invites almost immediately to everyone signed up in the county’s portal.
Recently, that’s included those not yet eligible.
He said about 80% of those they’ve seen have been out of county residents.
“We’ve had them from as far as Georgetown, San Antonio drive up, to get the shot, and that’s heartwarming because we know we’re doing good for many people,” said Henley.
Stephanie Mears and Joshua Hernandez said it was about a two hour drive for them as they battled traffic coming from the Colony.
Still, they’ll tell you it was worth it.
“I think we’re excited and we’re happy,” said Mears.
“It’s a little surreal,” said Hernandez.
After watching family struggle to find a vaccine, the couple was willing to do whatever it took to get a shot that would protect not only them, but also their loved ones.
And at the guidance of health officials in DFW’s largest municipalities, that meant registering for the vaccine everywhere rather than waiting on sites that could take weeks.
“We saw some Oklahoma plates there in the parking lot. So there’s definitely a want and a demand for this,” said Hernandez.
In Navarro County, Henley said they’re happy to help.
“We want to be a great steward of our assets and be whatever we can be for the State of Texas and our citizens,” said Henley.
Still, he said they’ve started discussions about how long keeping a site open there makes sense.
In Navarro County, they’re relying on more limited resources in a smaller community to now help serve populations from larger ones.
That’s why Henley has turned to the county to see how both his vaccine allocation and his team can best help serve Texans at this point.
Henley said one possibility is creating another hub closer to the metroplex.
And for some who’ve made the drive, that makes sense.
“I know there are people who don’t have the luxury of driving two hours or aren’t capable of driving, so we’re fortunate in that sense. But we’re looking forward to it being more accessible to more people,” said Mears.
But until then, if and when it happens, Henley said Navarro County remains committed to helping get Texas through the end of this crisis.
The Navarro County Vaccine clinic is open Wednesdays and Thursdays. Click here to register for a vaccine in Navarro County.