DALLAS — The lines for COVID-19 vaccine remain busy at the Fair Park hub, though demand for doses is on a downward trend. That reality is affecting projections for reaching herd immunity in Dallas County.
There was a steady flow of vehicles filing in and out of the Fair Park vaccination hub on Wednesday afternoon.
”The process was quick. It was fast,” Jorge Perez said as he waited after receiving his first dose of the vaccine.
Some residents say getting the vaccine means moving one step closer to gatherings with the family after a year of isolation.
"It kind of sucked not being able to be around your family. So, it’s really important to be able to do that now,” Ruby Goana explained.
Reaching herd immunity in Dallas County is a different challenge.
One day after the CDC recommended it may be safe for people to remove masks in some public spaces and among small groups, local analysts are urging the public to continue using precautions.
"There’s some good news and some bad news,” said Dr. Steve Miff, President and CEO of Parkland Center for Clinical Innovation, or PCCI.
The agency is updating its forecast for reaching herd immunity in Dallas County. Instead of its initial projection of mid-June, Dr. Miff said the current vaccination numbers show the threshold may be reached by late June or further into July.
”The good news is we’ve made great progress to date, and currently we are at 64% toward that target of 80 for herd immunity. So, that’s the good news.” Miff explained.
The bad news is, week after week, progress in distributing vaccines is significantly slowing down, despite ample supply.
The data shows 12 ZIP codes in Dallas County have already reached the 80% herd immunity threshold, according to PCCI. Those ZIP codes include:
Analysis also suggests the greatest opportunity for vaccination is among working populations. Especially for people ages 18 to 29 and ages 30 to 50. According to PCCI, vaccinations across those age groups, in Dallas County, are lagging 10 to 15 points below the national average.
"We’re in a sprint here. We need to be able to able to get to those levels where we can contain and crush COVID ahead of giving the virus more and more chances to mutate,” Dr. Miff said.
Analysts and health officials are urging everyone to research and consider getting the vaccine.