Demand down across North Texas for COVID-19 vaccines

Waiting for weeks and long snaking lines at vaccination sites are now a thing of the past in North Texas.

County leaders have now shifted their focus on getting more people vaccinated.

From Tarrant County Commissioners Court heading east to Dallas County, alarms are sounding at the drop-off in people getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

In Tarrant County, vaccine registration was averaging 6,000 to 10,000 a day. It’s now down to about 1,500.

"The declining interest and only about 15% series completion. That’s low," said Tarrant County Public Health Director Vinny Taneja. "So we’ve got some serious work to do."

Dallas County is seeing a similar disturbing trend with first dose sign-ups dramatically decreasing.

"A young population that just is not interested," said Dallas County Commissioner Theresa Daniel. "They are saying that they don’t want to be bothered."

In Collin County, thousands of appointments are available at John Clark Stadium for first doses of the Pfizer vaccine.

Denton county leaders say they’re nearing the end of the waitlist with appointments available this Friday at TMS.

The vaccine drop-off comes as cases creep up.

"We are just at that point where things are starting to speed up a little," Taneja said. "I’m not too worried, but it is something to keep an eye on."

County health leaders say they’re targeting those who are vaccine-hesitant, like young people and men. They are launching education and outreach campaigns to fight misinformation.

"The common one I hear is ‘I take the vaccine, and I’m going to be sterile.’ No, that’s not true," Taneja said. "We have not had any indications that would ever occur."

The big problem with so few people getting vaccinated is it makes reaching herd immunity that much more difficult.

"We are trying to get everyone vaccinated so we can get to herd immunity before vaccines become less effective before it mutates," said Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins. "Everyone needs to do their part, regardless of their age."

Delaying vaccinations means delaying the finish line. It’s something local leaders want desperately to avoid.

"Reach out if there’s any barrier that we can lower because there shouldn’t be any left," Jenkins said.