North Texas leaders complain about under-allocation of vaccine doses from the state

Tarrant County leaders repeated their desire to receive more vaccine doses from the state. They say the state is not allocating the doses equitably.

Meanwhile, Dallas County Health and Human Services says it's now getting doses from hospitals to help meet its need.

Tarrant County leaders are stuck between planning for new vaccination sites while still begging for vaccines.

"The capacity is there. We’re just not getting enough vaccine," said Tarrant County Health Director Vinny Taneja. "The demand is there, but we’re not getting enough vaccine."

This week, sites in Tarrant County received about 33,000 doses, including those going to its three hubs at Texas Health Resources, the city of Arlington and Tarrant County Public Health.

"From a public health perspective as a hub, we’re getting 10,000 doses a week. And Just public health alone currently could easily get out 40,000 a week. So we’re running at a fourth of our capacity," Taneja said.

Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley is urging the state to send that other three quarters to Tarrant County now.

"I keep hoping that one of these days we’re going to wake up and we’re gonna see 100,000 first vaccine shots come to Tarrant County," he said.

Whitley says the city of Arlington typically gets between 7,000 and 8,000 shots a week. This week, it got 9,000. He thinks the city could administer double that amount. He blames Tarrant County’s under allocation on the state’s reporting system.

"I’m extremely frustrated with the state because of their data system, which I think is archaic, and I think needs to be completely overhauled," he said. "They were under the impression that we have a bunch of vaccines just sitting on the shelf, and that’s just not correct."

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins has made similar complaints. Its health department runs the Fair Park drive-thru site, which is capable of administering more vaccine than it’s getting.

In fact, UT Southwestern gave the county 11,000 of its own doses this week to administer at the Fair Park site.

Tarrant County Public Health is preparing to open a new clinic in Fort Worth’s Stop 6 neighborhood next week. More new clinics will follow.

But at this point, it's spreading vaccine just thin enough to function.

"Right now, we’re giving them enough to just keep their routine for them to understand and learn and be prepared for when we get a lot more vaccines," Whitley said.