DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - Genean Smith is among those who waited for a couple of hours at the Ellis Davis Field House in Dallas Wednesday to get a COVID-19 vaccine without having to make an appointment. "I'm very excited."
It's the first day Parkland allowed this and it will continue for the foreseeable future.
Smith said it's a great strategy to increase the number of people getting the shot. "You get a whole lot more people out without making an appointment. Just kind of locks them in when you got to make an appointment. So when it's open, the masses show up."
For Jesus Garcia, of Dallas, it was an opportunity to get his 16-year-old daughter vaccinated.
She's been on a waiting list and they hadn't heard back.
Garcia said, "It is a relief because hopefully this coming fall, opening schools back up and stuff like that. Actually I want my kids to be vaccinated by then."
Samia Zia runs Parkland Hospital's vaccination sites here and at Eastfield College.
She said they've had to turn away hundreds of people without an appointment until now.
"It definitely has picked up. We're operating almost all of our lives. We have additional staffing. We are ready for the volume."
Parkland provides a total of 1,500 Pfizer shots each day here, including for those who make appointments.
You don't have to be a Dallas County resident to get a shot, but you need an ID.
Those without an appointment can show up between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
Parkland said it may soon open its other vaccination sites for those who don't have an appointment.
Zia said, "I can see in the near future that we'll be opening up at Easfield College."
She said the hospital occasionally allows people without an appointment to get a vaccine at its two campuses.
As for Genean Smith, she said she wants to return to normal and she encourages others to get vaccinated. "I feel great. Didn't hurt at all."
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