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Wintry weather causes delays during small drive-thru operation at Fair Park COVID-19 vaccine site

“There was no communication whatsoever from Dallas. Just hearing it from the news and then figuring it out as we go,” Alexa Shimkus said.

DALLAS — Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins announced Tuesday that the drive-thru operations at the Fair Park vaccination site will resume at noon Wednesday.

“Due to colder than expected temperatures today, the need to keep the vaccine at a stable temperature, and the delay in receiving required generators, our transition to a full drive-thru operation at Fair Park will be delayed,” Jenkins said in a tweet. 

County officials rolled out a “soft launch” of its drive-thru vaccination process at Fair Park Monday. The original plan was to officially launch the drive-thru process Tuesday.

However, the plan was delayed due to Tuesday’s cold temperatures.

RELATED: Winter weather & extreme cold this week in North Texas

A Dallas County spokesperson told WFAA the original plan for Tuesday was to do “full drive-thru operations” – just like they’re doing at Texas Motor Speedway, she said. In addition, they also planned to provide a walk-up option for those who didn’t arrive in a car or who took public transportation.

However, “due to the cold weather,” the county, instead, did “a small drive-thru operation today,” moving “most” of the appointments inside.

Here’s why: The vaccine must be kept at a stable temperature once it’s been thawed. It’s difficult to do this while standing outside in this cold weather. Generators were needed to keep the vaccines at the proper temperature. But the county said “there was a delay” in receiving the generators today.

As a result, the drive-thru aspect had to be scaled back Tuesday – much less than what was originally planned. That lead to people waiting in long lines in their cars at Fair Park.

Alexa Shimkus waited in her car for over three hours with her 86-year-old grandmother, Pat Brown.

“There was no communication whatsoever from Dallas. Just hearing it from the news and then figuring it out as we go,” Shimkus said.

Jenkins announced the drive-thru operations will resume Wednesday at noon. Everyone should go to Gate 2, the judge said.



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