DALLAS — Updated at 7:06 p.m. to include information from Tarrant County officials.
The vaccine site in Dallas County in partnership with the Federal Emergency Management Agency will open Wednesday and will prioritize residents in 17 ZIP codes.
The winter weather significantly affected vaccine appointments that were supposed to happen last week.
The FEMA-managed site at Fair Park will be open at 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday for first-dose vaccines to residents of those 17 ZIP codes, as well as second-dose vaccines only for people who were due on or before Feb. 16. The operations will run side-by-side, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said.
Residents must have an appointment to receive the vaccine.
"Please bear with us as we catch up," Jenkins said at an afternoon news conference.
Military personnel from Ft. Riley were at Fair Park Monday in preparation for the federal mass vaccination site, Jenkins said.
FEMA will be administering the first-dose Pfizer vaccine and the county will administer second-dose the Moderna vaccine for those who received their first dose at Fair Park.
The ZIP codes are: 75042, 75061, 75150, 75210, 75211, 75212, 75215, 75216, 75217, 75220, 75224, 75227, 75228, 75231, 75237, 75241, 75243.
On Thursday, there will be second shots for people who were due on or before Feb. 17 and each day after, they will add one or more days until the county is caught up on second dose vaccines.
In Tarrant County, the FEMA site is focused on people 75 years and older, and census tracts, rather than ZIP codes.
"We are going to aggressively get people registered in those ZIP codes," Jenkins said in an afternoon news conference. "It will help us get to herd immunity. Unfortunately, most of North Texas doesn't live in those counties."
Doses moved from Dallas, Tarrant counties
Jenkins says Gov. Greg Abbott has moved 21,000 COVID-19 vaccines each from Dallas and Tarrant counties and sent them to other parts of the state. He said that they're the only counties that have reduced doses.
Jenkins said those cuts will impact the people who don't live in those ZIP codes that will receive the FEMA vaccine doses.
Jenkins says the state cut first dose shots and if Abbott doesn't reverse the decision, then in 10 weeks North Texas could lose 500,000 vaccines to other areas.
"It disadvantages all the rest of the state when the governor moves those vaccines," Jenkins said. "Texas got more vaccines this week than any time before. We just want the same allotments for our hospitals and our cities that we’ve been getting the last several weeks and we’ll keep getting our people vaccinated."
Tarrant County officials expressed frustration Tuesday morning, after the state slashed their first-dose vaccine allotment to zero. Typically, the state gives them 9,000 weekly first-round doses, said Tarrant County Public Health Director Vinny Taneja.
According to a spokesman for the Department of State Health Services, the amount of vaccine doses the county received this week overall was more than last week. That’s because FEMA is about to launch a mass vaccination site at Arlington’s Globe Life Field, which will vaccinate 21,000 people a week.
However, the county said their understanding was the federal vaccines were not going to impact on their state allotment. Judge Glen Whitley said he’s asked the state to reconsider.
“I’m very hopeful they’ll do what I’ve asked them to do, and that is to reestablish all the first shot vaccines we were getting,” he said. “And if that state’s increasing, we continue to get our share of that increase as well.”
He pointed out Tarrant County vaccinates many thousands of people from other counties, too.
The state said “with a FEMA windfall of more than 84,000 doses going to just three counties, [the Expert Vaccine Allocation Panel] recommended sending additional doses to parts of the state that haven’t received nearly as much vaccine per person. This allowed us to allocate vaccine to 230 counties for this week, the most of any week so far.”
Tarrant County officials expressed concern that the vast majority of first doses would have to be given out at their single FEMA location, rather than throughout the county like usual. Considering the FEMA site is targeting people 75 and older, as well as socially vulnerable populations, accessibility may be a challenge, county officials said.
WFAA reached out to Gov. Greg Abbott for comment and are waiting to hear back.
The Department of State Health Services said the governor doesn't make allocation decisions. Expert Vaccine Allocation Panel makes recommendations and provides guidance. Dr. John Hellerstedt, the health commissioner, has the final say on each week's allocation.
The department said in a statement that the vaccines for providers in Dallas and Tarrant counties is more this week than last week when you add doses going to FEMA sites.
Dallas County providers are receiving 45,690 doses this week compared with 43,325 last week, the department said. For Tarrant County, it’s 37,870 compared with 27,950 last week.
"Also, in many cases, providers still have vaccine from last week that wasn't used or was shipped late by the CDC due to the weather," the department said in a statement.
Vaccine allocations are done week by week and no final allocations have been made for next week, the department said.
Reporter Ariel Plasencia contributed to this report.