Tarrant County struggling to keep up with vaccine demand as more Texans become eligible

All Texans 50 years old and up became eligible for the vaccine Monday.

In Tarrant County, registrations shot up. It started contacting people who qualify in that group on Monday.

But county leaders say none of that matters until they can get more vaccine.

Now that Texans over 50 are eligible, too, newly vaccinated Varlisa Dixon and her husband Willie Green are hoping their friends and family get scheduled soon.

"Actually, I’m 49, and I’ve had the vaccination twice," Green said. "So I feel that it’s good for ages that low to be getting the vaccination now."

But for Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley, the new eligibility group is still too narrow.

"I just wish they’d open it up and anybody could get it."

Still, somewhere between 40,000 and 50,000 more people on Tarrant County’s waitlist are now eligible under 1C.

Through their partnership with the county, UNT Health Science Center plans to open its first community clinic next week at a church in the Stop 6 neighborhood.

Dr. Sylvia Trent Adams, Chief Strategy Officer with UNT Health Science Center, says they’re still working on additional locations, including one in North Fort Worth near Meacham Airport.

"We want to provide sites in places that they trust and places that they feel they will be welcomed," she said.

The new Stop 6 site will start off with 1,000 shots a week coming from Tarrant County Public Health.

Whitley says he’d like to allocate more to every vaccination site in Tarrant but is disgruntled with the state’s allocation this week.

Dallas County will get 54,000 this week while Tarrant County gets 33,000.

"I don't know what kind of fuzzy math they’re using down the, but we are to be getting more vaccines and I’m tired of listening to excuses as to why we're not," Whitley said.

So far, 155,000 people in Tarrant County are fully vaccinated, which is about 10% of the county’s population.

But Whitley says to truly leave the masks behind and get back to normal, we’ve got to get at least 50% of the population vaccinated.