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Dallas, Tarrant County Leaders Talk COVID-19 Vaccination Demand And Changes To Distribution

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - Just days after group 1B was given the go ahead to receive vaccinations, Tarrant County Public Health says they have some changes to make in regards to distribution after long lines developed in Arlington and Fort Worth.

"We need to make some improvements," said Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley. "What happens is, someone will find out that they're giving vaccines at resource connection, so as a result, everyone just pours to resource connection and they will stand in line, and they will register while they're standing there, and they'll say, 'well I registered!'"

Since Dec. 23, Tarrant County Public Health has distributed about 5,700 doses: 4,200 were from the Dec. 23 allotment and 1,500 were of the Dec. 30 allotment. But they say, of that number, about 25% were folks who weren't supposed to be there.

They were vaccinated anyway, but say going forward, everyone needs to register and wait for a call.

"Don't come out to the site, unless you have had someone who has called you given you a time to come out," said Whitley.

The Tarrant County Public Health registrar can be found here.

The same expectation is being made in Dallas County, as a new registration website by the Health and Human Services Department went live Saturday evening.

When you register, it will place you on the list to receive an allotment from Dallas County Health and Human Services. DCHHS is currently out of vaccine but will get more next week. Registrants will be notified of next steps as additional vaccine becomes available. The registration is for Dallas County residents only who are in phase 1A or phase 1B.

"If you want to have the chance to get one from DCHHS, you need to register," said Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins.

On top of getting 1B vaccinations started, many frontline workers in both Dallas and Tarrant County need their second doses soon, but both judges tell CBS 11 News that hospitals and clinics aren't holding any doses back.

"I think we are all a little nervous right now. Those who took the first round of Pfizer, they are up for their next round this coming week," said Whitley.

New numbers from the Texas Department of State Health Services show that only about 39% of vaccines that have been received by providers have been administered.

But Whitley and Jenkins say those numbers are simply wrong.

"There is a very significant lag with the states reporting system, with what's happening on the ground," said Jenkins.

He says if it gets to a point where vaccine supply is low and 1A needs their second round, they may take priority.

"We can't get into a situation where we are holding a life-saving vaccine, because we might now have enough 3 weeks from now. If the supply is not as big as we hope, it may be that all of it has to go to second round shot people," Jenkins said.



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