FORT WORTH, Texas - Tarrant County health leaders are targeting a single zip code where less than 40% of eligible people are vaccinated against COVID-19.
A new six-lane vaccine clinic opened in zip code 76119, where it’s needed the most in Tarrant County.
"The target zip code is 76119," said Tarrant County Public Health Director Vinny Taneja. "But it’s obviously open to anybody who wants to come there."
The Wilkerson-Grienes Activity Center is in the heart of South Fort Worth and 76119. Tuesday morning after opening, a slow trickle dotted the new clinic which is run by the city of Fort Worth.
Taneja told the commission Tuesday that initial planning considered the likelihood of a big demand for booster shots. But that diminished when the CDC recommended booster doses only for the immune-compromised.
"It was opened in anticipation of booster doses coming due and so forth," he said. "I think we are about a week ahead of time when traffic is expected, but that’s good."
Another vaccine clinic on Miller Avenue is seeing a modest turnout.
County statistics show zip code 76119 is 39.8% vaccinated. It’s the lowest of all zip codes with boundaries completely inside the county.
Taneja believes a major culprit is misinformation.
"No, it does not make you impotent or infertile or any like that. There’s no reported side effects like that because that’s been a big story and big misperception," he said. "It doesn’t modify your DNA. Because all of those misconceptions are also part of the hesitancy. People hear it from a friend on social media posted some article that looks legitimate. They don’t go any further and they take it for the truth."
County Judge Glen Whitley continues to encourage more people throughout the county to get vaccinated and admits it’s frustrating.
"I guess I’d say if you’re going to exercise personal freedom and you don’t want to get a vaccine, then stay away from people," he said. "Don’t get out there and get around folks because now you’re basically forcing your personal freedom and potentially endangering other folks' lives."