State Urges COVID-19 Vaccine Providers to Order More Doses – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
In a letter to COVID-19 vaccine providers across Texas, the State Department of Health commissioner urged providers to order additional shots if needed.
“With the COVID-19 vaccine supply increasing and most Texans who want to be vaccinated have at least got their first shot, we’ve heard from many of you that the weekly demand for vaccine appointments has decreased,” said Dr. John Hellerstedt wrote. “While there are still many Texans willing to be vaccinated, that demand is shifting from large, mass vaccination sites to smaller, more convenient places where Texans receive routine medical care.”
He said there were about 280,000 more cans available to vendors in Texas for the week, which was more than requested.
The additional offering goes to the DSHS pharmacy in Austin, but the state is being pressured by vendors to place an order by 5:00 p.m. Tuesday. They also asked vendors for new strategies to reach additional people and offered to support vendors who inquire by Tuesday in the form of technical help or staff.
The state said people would go to pharmacies and doctor’s offices to get admissions instead, but some local leaders said the downward trend in registrations was due to the vaccine’s hesitation.
Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley said he had noticed a decrease in the number of people registering at the county’s turnstiles for vaccines.
“I think people felt fine. There are some who don’t want to take the vaccine, others think, ‘Golly, everything is slowing down, everything is coming to an end and maybe we don’t need a vaccine.’ “Said Whitley. “I think there are a lot of different reasons, but unfortunately I really wish people would really go ahead and take the vaccine so we don’t see a tip like we have in some other states.”
Whitley said the county has spoken to churches and reached out to large groups that may have upcoming events to get more people vaccinated.
Last week he launched the idea of paying $ 50 to get a vaccine, but said the district attorney looked into it and found federal law that banned the idea.
The thought is off the table for now.
Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said the large hub at Fair Park had also seen a decrease in people.
He said he believed those who were anxious to get vaccinated had already done so and the rest of the people were either standing on the fence or taking their time.
“I compare it to people who do something like spring cleaning every year – they’ll do it but haven’t done it yet,” Jenkins said. “However, it is very important that we do this very soon as we want to deny the virus with enough new hosts that can mutate outside the protection of the vaccine.”
The county plans to go to different locations instead.
Jenkins said on May 16 that they would be at the First Baptist Church in Dallas to offer vaccines to church members. He said they wanted to open a vaccination center in Deep Ellum and also target apartments.
“We’re going to a lot of apartment complexes now, big places, where we know people haven’t been vaccinated but are making it as easy as possible,” Jenkins said.
The decline in demand for footage is causing the county to reduce the daily hours of operation at some of the major hubs.
Jenkins said this week that the Fair Park transit point will only be open on Mondays, Wednesdays (with extended hours), Fridays and Saturdays.
“Everyone costs something, it costs a lot to run, Fair Park costs a lot, and it doesn’t work with 500-600 people, you need 7,000-8,000,” said Jenkins.
In Tarrant County, Whitley said they were “not ready to close the hubs yet, but we’re probably getting a lot closer.”
He said the times have stayed the same as of now, but they may shorten the hours in the future.
Whitley said there was a new location on the Ridgmar Mall in Fort Worth that they would hopefully open after hours for people working late.