Dallas County pushing COVID-19 vaccines, especially in zip codes with lowest vaccination rates

As COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continue to rise across North Texas, so does the push for vaccinations.

Community leaders are targeting areas where vaccination rates are lower than average.

Dallas County is targeting specific zip codes that are the most hesitant when it comes to the COVID-19 vaccine, some of which are south of the Trinity River. 

In DeSoto, Community Missionary Baptist Church offered vaccines before and after worship Sunday morning. 

In their zip code, only 44% of the population is fully vaccinated.

Just over a month ago, Dallas County was administering 15,000 first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine a week, but there was a rise in the month of August to around 35,000 first doses a week. 

This past week, there were 23,000 first doses administered.

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Director and missions and community outreach for Community Missionary Baptist Church, James Alexander Jr., said he sees the hesitancy in the community, and he wants to make it as easy as possible to stay safe.

"But with this new variant, it doesn’t discriminate. Black, white, rich, poor, and it’s taking people out, so we want to do our part and offer an option our community on Sundays to come get vaccinated," he said.

Michael Williams admits he was skeptical.

Sunday, he changed his mind and got vaccinated.

"It's not about me at all. It's all about other folks," he said.

Dallas County Health Director Dr. Philip Huang has been working to target hesitant neighborhoods, whether it’s walking block by block or sending a simple text. 

"A lot of people who were anti-vaxxers are now getting COVID," Dr. Huang said. "This is really a preventable situation."

New numbers from the Parkland Center for Innovation shows a quarter of the new cases in Dallas County are 18 years old and under.

Pediatric cases are continuing to climb.

As of Sunday, according to the DFW Hospital Council, 123 pediatric patients are in the hospital with COVID-19 here in North Texas.

The DFW Hospital Council also reports there are only 14 adult staffed ICU beds available in Dallas County, and almost 55% of all adult ICU patients have COVID-19.