COVID-19 Vaccination Site Opens at UT Arlington – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
A new COVID-19 vaccination facility opened at the University of Texas at Arlington to further expand access to vaccines in Tarrant County.
The location in the UTA Physical Education Building at 801 W. Greek Row Dr. was opened through a partnership between UTA, Tarrant County and the University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth.
Three more vaccination sites have already been opened at Brighter Outlook Inc. in Fort Worth, in the Ridgmar Mall and in the Saginaw Recreation Center.
Precinct 2’s Tvanant County Commissioner Devan Allen said the Arlington site was chosen in a targeted approach to expand access.
“The area where UT Arlington [is] and the surrounding areas, including East Arlington – specifically zip codes 76010, 76914, and 76018 – all have higher cases of COVID-19 positivity, “Allen said. “This is obvious when we’ve done a lot more testing, but in addition we’ve seen that they have fewer vaccine registrations, hence fewer vaccine recipients.”
The vaccination site opened with a soft launch on Wednesday and is expected to switch to full volume on Thursday and Friday with an estimated 630 vaccines per day. This location will maintain this capacity for the next two weeks, while the first cans will be dispensed between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., according to HSC. The staff will then switch to delivering the second dose for three weeks.
“This may be the last mass vaccine site we set up in the county unless demand for the vaccine increases,” Allen said.
In a briefing to district officials earlier this week, Tarrant District Public Health Director Vinny Taneja said vaccination rates are improving across the country, but noted that interest and demand for first doses have fallen sharply.
“I have read so many articles and testimonials from public health officials. Interest fell sharply for two weeks, ”said Taneja. “I can tell you that we would open up to long queues at our locations … 350, 400 people in the first hour at each location, until now 400 people per day at our locations. So the interest in the first dose decreases sharply. “
Photo credit: Tarrant County Public Health
In Tarrant County, 1,199,789 doses of vaccine were administered as of Wednesday. According to the county, around 28% of residents have received a dose, while 21% are fully vaccinated. Taneja emphasized the importance of talking to the public about hesitation and making access more convenient.
“This would be the time when the cases are low. Come out in droves and get vaccinated, ”he said. “Things can be seasonal. Viruses like colder weather and as autumn approaches we could see another spike. This would be the time to get everyone vaccinated, not when there is a huge spike, as then the vaccination sites themselves run the risk of many people coming and potentially spreading each other. “
At the UTA site, student Brian Nyaberi was one of the first to be vaccinated on launch day. Nyaberi said he wanted to get the vaccine earlier than Wednesday but waited without a car.
“It was pretty difficult to get around to get seats. I live near campus so it was very easy for me to get it if I knew it was near campus, ”he said. “I just wanted to do my part and get rid of this virus. I know it is a hit to many people including some close family members and friends. “
The site will be closed on Memorial Day.