DALLAS — Dallas County and city leaders gave WFAA updates on several vaccine-related topics Monday, including updates for their plans for vaccine distribution and registration.
Here's a look at what to expect in the coming days.
Vaccine distribution at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Center
The City of Dallas expects to distribute around 5,000 vaccines to the public for the first time this week.
“We are going to be able to get shots in peoples’ arms faster,” Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson said.
In Friday’s press release, the city said these shots will be “distributed in an appointment-based drive-up process at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center.”
When it comes to vaccination sign-ups, the city will make appointments from Dallas County’s existing waitlist.
“This is a very good thing. We're all working off that same list, working together,” Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said. “The more vaccines that are available, the better it is for all of our residents.”
Dr. Philip Huang, the director of Dallas County Health and Human Services, told WFAA they expect the drive-thru site to open around the end of the week.
Dallas Fire-Rescue paramedics will be administering the vaccine, city officials explained.
To register for an appointment, click here or call 469-749-9900 during business hours.
Possibility of registration hubs opening
Dallas County has identified 11 zip codes that include some of the county’s most at-risk people. But recent numbers also show these same areas is lacking in registrations – eligible people are not signing up.
To fix this, some city councilmembers wanted to create registration hubs in their districts.
“You can always tell when it’s campaign season around City Hall,” Johnson said. “You start to see some of this stuff.”
The mayor believes the councilmembers' move was political and says it’s his responsibility to make sure these registration hubs go where they’re needed most.
“I never said we shouldn’t have them. I said we got to have professionals making those decisions. Not councilmembers who are up for reelection," Johnson said.
Late last Thursday, the mayor approved a plan to set up registration hubs in “underserved areas of the city.” But he said in release that the exact locations for the registration hubs will be determined by the city's Emergency Management Coordinator, Rocky Vaz, who has studied the data.
We asked the mayor if we could expect any decisions to be made on these hubs at Monday’s special city council meeting at 7 p.m.
“There won’t be any decisions made Monday night because the state law says I make those decisions,” Johnson said. “And nothing can override that.”
Jenkins said the county will partner with anyone who’s working to get people registered -- even if it’s just two people with laptops and a hotspot.
“Your church, your synagogue, your sorority: Anyone could get together and do one of these,” Jenkins said. “And we’ll help you.”
2 things Dallas County is doing to make distribution more accessible
Judge Jenkins told WFAA Monday there are two discussions he hopes to have with county commissioners.
“We’re focusing this week on getting a contract before the commissioners for a top to bottom management system with QR codes -- similar to the way you would buy concert tickets -- for the vaccine system,” Jenkins said. “That will help.”
Jenkins said the change will keep people from sharing internal links related to appointment sign up.
“We're also trying to get a contract in front of the commissioners for a professional call center that would dramatically increase the number of bilingual people to take calls to sign people up over the phone,” Jenkins said.