Tarrant County Looking To Expand Access To COVID-19 Vaccine Under New Proposed Distribution Plan

FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Vaccine distribution would expand to schools, offices, shopping centers and entertainment venues under a new proposed distribution plan being developed in Tarrant County.

County commissioners agreed Tuesday, Jan. 19, to work out a contract with UNT Health Science Center in Fort Worth to develop and administer the plan.

It would prioritize expanding access to high traffic areas, but also to individual homes where needed.

It would require partnerships with industries and civic groups, and give consideration to equity of distribution, including addressing transportation and language barriers.

It was not immediately clear Tuesday how much money the county would need to pay UNTHSC for the effort, or how long it would take to develop and implement.

Currently there is not enough vaccine to even supply the hubs, with the location in Arlington closed Tuesday because it was out of doses.

Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley though said he wanted to be ready in case there’s a day in the future when supply floods in.

“I want to have teams set up in neighborhoods, I want to have teams set up in rural counties, I want to have teams set up all over our area,” he said.

The county has largely considered its early vaccination effort a success, with an estimated at 100,000 doses delivered so far when combined with health systems.

More than 290,000 people are registered and eligible for a dose but waiting for their turn. The county is still vaccinating people who originally registered on January 1.

Tarrant County Public Health Director Vinny Taneja said he plans to start giving additional priority for appointments to people living in zip codes with the current highest case rate. Most of those zip codes are in the northern half of the county.


CBS Dallas / Fort Worth