DALLAS — Preparations are underway for the first COVID-19 vaccine mega center in Dallas County. The site will open at Fair Park on Monday, Jan. 11.
"It was 100% a true partnership,” said Dallas City Councilman Adam Bazaldua. He represents District 7, which includes South Dallas, where Fair Park is located.
A community partnership helped identify Fair Park as a regional vaccine distribution site.
Initially, people in the 1B category will be able to receive vaccine from the Fair Park mega center by appointment only. That category includes members of the public who are 65 and older, or ages 16 and up with at least one chronic medical issue.
Bazaldua said this mega center’s location in South Dallas is significant.
“The communities that are getting hit hardest with this pandemic, having access to this vaccine is extremely important,” he said.
A few miles away in the Singing Hills area of Oak Cliff, excitement over offering the vaccine is somewhat challenging.
Naeema Young is CEO of Golden Life Wellness Center Texas. She is among health care providers questioning why very few centers across southern Dallas County are included in the state’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution program.
Young said the full-service health care center did apply with the state.
"It sends you in circles,” Young said. “It’s such a tedious web. You will not be able to believe it.”
Staff members with Golden Life Wellness Center Texas were on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic. They administered hundreds of COVID-19 tests across the community each month.
"When it comes to the cure, why weren’t we included?” Young questioned.
It’s a different perspective on access to resources during critical times.
Local lawmakers are now assisting health care providers, like Young, and the state to make the distribution of vaccine more equitable.
Vaccine mega centers are also in the works for Ellis Davis Field House and Eastfield College.
For now, city and county leaders are urging as many people as possible to log on the Dallas County Health and Human Services website to register for the COVID-19 vaccine, and wait for notification of appointment times. The DCHHS website is https://www.dallascounty.org/covid-19/covid-19-vaccination.php.