Dallas County launches outreach programs for COVID-19 vaccine registration

Dallas County has started outreach programs to get people in underserved communities registered for a COVID-19 vaccine.

Officials say some residents don’t have access to the internet, a cell phone, an email address or reliable transportation -- so registering for the vaccine, much less getting it, is nearly impossible.

Dallas County stepped in to connect with residents at the Park Manor apartments, subsidized housing for seniors and the disabled, in South Dallas on Wednesday to help out.

DCHHS spokeswomen Marisa Gonzales says the Fair Park Mega Vaccination Clinic, which administered 12,000 shots in its first week, saw far fewer brown and Black faces than they would have hoped.

"Right now the age limit is 75 and older, so if an individual comes up and they meet the age requirement they are able to make an appointment on site. If they don’t meet that age requirement, we are putting them in our registry," Gonzales said.

Organizers are most concerned about the zip codes hit hardest by COVID-19 and this week reached out to residents at senior living centers around Fair Park.

"I don’t have no transportation, no way of getting around," said resident Mary Miles, who got help on Wednesday.

Gonzales says not only are they going out into neighborhoods, but she can even utilize an app on her phone for impromptu registrations for those who are eligible.

"Put their information in and give them a date and a time to get their vaccine," she said.

Some seniors expressed some concern about getting the shot.

"It’s something you know you need to get done, but at the same time you are scared," said Maria Burciaga, who wound up registering for the shot.

The seniors were ultimately grateful for the opportunity to register at their doorstep.

"Makes me feel 100% better. Yes, ma’am," Burciaga said.


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