Dallas convention center COVID-19 vaccine site to open Thursday

Another COVID-19 vaccine hub opens in Dallas County on Thursday with the city of Dallas operating a site at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center.

Officials say there are nearly half a million people in Dallas County alone on the list to get vaccinated.

But the convention center site will have just about 5,000 doses to distribute for people with appointments only. Organizers hope to vaccinate about 200 people per hour over the next three days.

"We're not restricting it to City of Dallas residents, we're getting the list as prioritized by Dallas County," said Rocky Vaz, City of Dallas emergency management coordinator.

The parking lot in front of Area C is where folks with appointments will check in and have their paperwork verified. Then they'll be directed to the underground parking garage to get a shot and wait to make sure there's no adverse reaction.

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"The total process will take about an hour from the time they arrive to stage them and run them through the process," said Dallas Fire-Rescue Chief Randall Stidham.

The convention center will be a drive-thru operation, but organizers say they do have a plan for folks with an appointment who show up without a car.

For now the site will only be open from Thursday through Saturday. Organizers say it will re-open when the city gets its next allotment of doses, hopefully next Tuesday.

The new Dallas site adds to a growing list of vaccination sites in North Texas.

Collin County moved its hub to John Clark Stadium in Plano on Wednesday. The drive-thru facility is operated by a private contractor who limited the media's access to the site.

In Denton County, folks waited in long lines at a drive-thru clinic set up at the C.H. Collins Athletic Complex.

"The traffic flow is a challenge, so we're going to continue to work on that as we do more and more clinics," said Dr. Matt Richardson, Director of Public Health, Denton County.

Denton County received nearly 10,000 first dose vaccines this week, which are available to community members by appointment only.

They're going fast.

"We're trying to meet the challenge and the need as quickly as we get the vaccine shipped to us," Richardson said. "We're still in an environment of scarcity. There's just not enough vaccines."

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