Dallas County leaders continuing to get those in underserved communities registered for COVID-19 vaccine

Elected officials have spoken a lot recently about the struggle to get people in underserved communities registered for a vaccine.

New data compiled by Parkland shows, so far, who has been getting the vaccines in Dallas County.

Dallas County and city leaders have been appealing to the public, stressing registration for a COVID-19 vaccination.

"Make sure individuals in underserved communities who don’t have access to technology have a way to get registered," Dallas City Councilman Casey Thomas said.

Leaders spoke Friday after Parkland Center for Clinical Innovation released data showing who in Dallas County has been registering for a vaccine.

What it found was that, roughly, 60% are white.

In second, was the county’s largest ethnic group, Hispanics, with about 16% registration.

Registration numbers were even lower for Asian and Black populations.

A map of Dallas County showed where people were getting registered the most.

Areas like North Dallas, Far North Dallas, and East Dallas had the highest registration rates.

While in areas like South Dallas, West Dallas, and parts of Oak Cliff, there are far fewer registrations.

"Well, we’ve got a lot of work to do," Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said.

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There’s been a big need in some communities to help people get registered for many people who may not have access to the internet, as shown by long lines at registration drives.

Dallas County approved $5 million worth of contracts Wednesday to help boost registration, including a bilingual call center.

"We’ve got to get more people registered," Jenkins said.

But a county plan last week to exclusively prioritize people in vulnerable communities was scrapped because it didn’t meet state guidelines.

Judge Jenkins said the priority is still being taken for these communities.

"These tend to be neighborhoods in South Dallas, where a lot of essential workers live, but they can also be a neighborhood where a new strain of COVID may pop up," Jenkins explained.

Though Jenkins didn’t know how to quantify the level of prioritization, however, and how soon someone from a vulnerable area can get vaccinated compared to others.

The data shows many people in those communities just aren’t getting on the waitlist.

"So we need everyone, every community, on the same page," Thomas added.

So far, more than 127,000 shots have been given to people in Dallas County, and more vaccine is on the way.

Between the county health department, the city of Dallas, hospitals, and other places, there will be more than 43,000 doses coming into the county next week.

Jenkins said people should register on as many regional lists as they can.

"So the only way to really know what is your best chance to get you and your loved ones a shot quickly is to do the tedious work of signing up at all the available lists in North Texas," he said.