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Vaccine Registration Urgency Picks Up With Texas Set to Receive 1 Million First Doses



TX – Efforts to register North Texans for COVID-19 vaccines continued Saturday as the state prepares to receive more than 1 million first doses next week.

According to the Texas State Department of Health Services, the increase is due to a supply of 245,200 doses of the new Johnson & Johnson vaccine coming to the state. The single-dose vaccine was authorized last weekend by the Food and Drug Administration and began shipping this week with 24,000 doses delivered to providers participating in the federally-supported vaccination sites in Arlington, Dallas and Houston.

With the continuation of the vaccine rollout, Dallas City Council member Jaime Resendez, who represents District 5, said it’s more important now than ever to get anyone who wants a vaccine signed up and waiting for their turn.

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“When you think about it, southeast Dallas has a large immigrant population and a large Spanish-speaking population,” Resendez said. “It’s related to the fact that this community has been hit hard by the pandemic because a lot of those individuals are essential workers who are unable to work from home.”

A vaccine registration event was held Saturday at the auditorium of the A+ Academy Secondary School in Dallas. Both Spanish and English speakers were available to assist residents, such as the parents of Elizabeth Baharona.

Baharona, 14, said she often helps translate for her parents. She accompanied them on Saturday for the in-person registration event.

Others who were there Saturday assisting family members could relate. Eva Guerrero of Dallas accompanied her mother on Saturday to help her sign up.

“She’s been really sick before, so I wanted to take that measure to protect her,” Guerrero said. “She tried coming yesterday and was confused. She was having a hard time communicating with other people. Today’s my day off, so I wanted to come and help her.”

Antioch Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church in Dallas also served as a vaccine registration site. Cheryl Wesley, director of community services for the church, said they were also distributing food at the site for the community.

District 8 Dallas City Council member Tennell Atkins assisted in the efforts.

“People are coming here saying, ‘Hey, I need to get vaccinated. I need prayer. I just need to talk to someone,’” Atkins said. “We are trying to get the word out. It’s very important that we got to get vaccinated, but we got to get registered first.”

In addition to the 1 million first doses, Texas DSHS said it was ordering 457,000 doses intended as the second dose for people first vaccinated a few weeks ago.

Texas has now administered nearly 6.3 million doses. More than four million people have received at least one dose, and more than 2.2 million are fully vaccinated.