Dallas County COVID-19 vaccine mega site to focus on ages 75-plus this week

Tuesday began Dallas County's second week distributing the COVID-19 vaccine at the Fair Park mega site.

County health officials say they are still trying to ensure it’s reaching the most vulnerable people.

After administering 12,000 shots last week, the county has about 6,000 doses remaining for this week. The vaccinations are focused on the 75-plus crowd, even though federal guidelines say the vaccine can be administered to those 65 and over or those with certain conditions.

Some county leaders question why the county is further restricting the eligible group.

"At least with the federal guidelines there’s definitely a years of life lost factored into the calculation. That’s why they don’t have a 75 or 85. You target 65 because years of life lost after 65 is very significant. Years of life lost after 85 is not so much," said J.J. Koch, Dallas County Commissioner.

Dallas County Health Director Philip Huang says 75 and over is the group most likely to die from COVID-19 and use hospital resources.

There were also questions about who’s received the vaccine so far. County maps show dark blue areas with the highest vaccinations reported include zip codes for North Dallas and University Park, among several in the city center.

Huang says part of that is where major hospitals are located. Another map of those receiving shots from only the county health department or Parkland shows more vulnerable populations are being reached.

"We have enough black people who are 75 and above who have signed up so we can have the correct demographic mix for some time forward and have a fair representation of Blacks and Hispanics at 75-plus," said Judge Clay Jenkins.

Huang urged a look at the bigger picture.

"Bottom line -- we vaccinated 12,000 75-plus people in our community, which no matter where they are, is a good thing," he said.

Health leaders say the mega-site will continue to focus on those 75 and over this week and opening up to 65 and over next week.


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