State Sen. Royce West holds virtual town hall on COVID-19 vaccine

State Senator Royce West will hold a virtual town hall meeting Tuesday night to discuss how best to get COVID-19 vaccines to those who need it most.

Vaccine distribution has been at times a point of contention between Dallas, Dallas County and state.

"All of this confusion that’s going on between the city, the county and the state -- I want to try to convene all three," West (D – Dallas) said.

The city complained it will be months before eligible members of the public can get shots in the arm unless supply increases. Dallas County got crossways with the city when the county decided to vaccinate folks 75 and older at Fair Park, but the city was not formally notified. County officials tried to prioritize vaccines in predominately Black and Hispanic zip codes hard hit by the virus, but backtracked after the state threatened to cut off supply if that happened.

"We need to visit on that how they are working on the prioritization of those particular areas," West said.

The Centers for Disease Control launching a new interactive tool called places that will let the public and public health experts see where the highest numbers of people are with underlying health conditions.

 "You can actually drill down into the neighborhood level to see the percentages of heart disease or diabetes. As a former public health director, that’s the data we've never had access to," said Dr. Karen Hacker, CDC.

That information can help officials decide where to distribute vaccine.

"You can look at where your vaccine distribution sites are, you can plan accordingly based on where those populations are," Hacker said.

Many of the areas have populations who don't necessarily have high trust in the vaccine they need.

"We need to make certain that people know leaders within our community have trust in this vaccine and they shouldn’t be afraid to take it," West said.

The virtual town hall takes place at 6:30 p.m., with login beginning at 6:10 p.m.


Meeting ID: 862 1887 7200 Passcode: 709265