Vaccine

Allen Fire Department will end COVID-19 vaccine hub operations by May 7 after vaccinating approximately 50,000 people and administering 100,000 total shots.

First doses will be administered through the week of April 9. Second doses will be administered the following month to ensure every person who received a first dose through AFD is offered an appointment for their second shot.

Final vaccine events will be open to all Texans, per new state guidelines which took effect on Monday.

"The Allen Fire Department state vaccine hub was a critical piece of our emergency management response to COVID-19,” said Allen Fire Chief Jonathan Boyd. “As was our goal, we bridged the gap in vaccine distribution until local pharmacies and health care providers could take over.”

AFD’s vaccine hub at Eagle Stadium came to be known as one of DFW’s premier vaccination providers for its efficient organization and extremely low wait times. Weekly appointments filled almost instantly once offered to subscribers via email. However, in recent weeks, AFD saw a sharp rise in last-minute cancellations and no-shows as more convenient appointments were offered elsewhere.

“Scheduling a COVID-19 vaccine through traditional providers is becoming easier and easier,” explained Boyd. “People are finding appointments at their local pharmacy, grocery store or doctor’s office—which is exactly what we hoped to see.”

COVID-19 vaccine appointments are now offered at numerous Allen-area pharmacies and health care providers, including Wal-Mart, Kroger, Tom Thumb, Market Street, CVS and Walgreens. Many doctors’ offices and hospital networks are working directly with patients to schedule vaccinations.

More than 32,000 Allen residents — roughly 30% of the total population — had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine as of March 23, according to data provided to AFD by the Texas Department of State Health Services. No COVID-19 vaccines have been approved for use in children under the age of 16, which means approximately 20% of Allen’s population is not yet eligible.

“Allen’s vaccination hub has played a key role in slowing the spread of COVID-19 in Collin County and across the DFW region,” said City Manager Eric Ellwanger. “With a significant portion of our community now vaccinated, and more providers coming online every week, it has become clear that our emergency response role has come to an end.”

AFD worked with senior living communities, schools, daycare providers, faith-based groups and other non-profits to offer vaccinations to hard-to-reach populations, including non-English speakers and those without Internet access. AFD offered vaccines at nursing homes and memory care facilities, helped coordinate transportation for seniors unable to drive and even visited homebound residents to provide shots door-to-door. Firefighters assigned to the AFD COVID-19 Help Line, along with Allen Senior Recreation Center staff, contacted hundreds of local seniors directly to ensure they had been offered a vaccination.

“Allen Fire Department has done an exemplary job of serving our community with their dedicated and detail-oriented approach,” said Mayor Ken Fulk. “To each City employee, volunteer and community member who helped organize this massive operation: thank you, and well done.”

The City of Allen and Allen Fire Department will continue providing vaccine resources on its website and other communication channels to help those still looking for an appointment. Visit AllenFire.org/CovidShots for more information.

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