Dallas County expanding COVID-19 vaccine registration plan

Dallas County is trying to reach underserved populations and make it easier for everyone to register for the COVID-19 vaccine.

The county is working on improving its call center and hosting in-person vaccine registration events for those who can’t register online.

More than half a million people are already registered for the vaccine through Dallas County, and the county says tens of thousands more register each day.

More than 511,000 registered for the COVID-19 vaccine in Dallas County so far, but there’s still a long way to go to get everyone registered. And the county is running into problems with the registration process for those trying to register by phone.

County officials say the current call center is overwhelmed with calls and many people unable to get through. They addressed the issue in commissioners court Tuesday.

"We’ve got hundreds of thousands of people signing up for this," said Dallas County Health Director Dr. Philip Huang. "Our standard call centers are not equipped to deal with those numbers."

The county is spending roughly $5 million to educate people about the vaccine and get a bigger call center in place, hiring more bilingual call takers. They hope to have the system in place next week.

They’re also hosting in-person registration events in the community to reach those having difficulties registering online.

Cruz Lopez came with her brother to get registered and plans to get other family members registered too.

"For the Spanish-speaking people it is, because they don’t understand English or they can’t speak it as well," he said. "It’s a whole lot better to come to this place, especially if you’re not with a computer or the new technology, you don’t know very much of it."

The county is also making improvements to the vaccination process by moving to a QR code system starting with Wednesday’s appointments that will send a unique code to confirm each person’s vaccine appointment.

The county says this should eliminate problems it saw during the rollout at the Fair Park vaccine site when some people misused the system to book unauthorized appointments

"That will simplify it and make it really hard for people to transfer to someone else because it will be specifically for you," said Dallas County Commissioner Elba Garcia.

Anyone can register for the vaccine, regardless of if you live in Dallas County or not.

There are also several more vaccine registration events coming up:

Savers Cost Plus
1610 S Westmoreland Rd.
Dallas, TX 75211
2/5/2021 9 a.m. - 2 p.m.
2/6/2021 2 p.m. - 6 p.m.

Arturo Salazar Elementary School
1120 S Ravinia Dr.
Dallas, TX 75211
2/6/2021 9 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Pioneer Event Center
1025 W Pioneer Parkway
Grand Prairie, TX
2/5/2021 2 p.m.- 6 p.m.

Savers Cost Plus
504 N O’Connor Road
Irving, TX
2/8/2021 2 p.m. – 6 p.m.