Just when local health departments were gaining momentum in their COVID-19 vaccine distribution, this week’s winter storm stopped those efforts cold.
Local counties temporarily suspended the large vaccine clinics, including Dallas County. The distribution clinic at Fair Park has been closed since Saturday.
Lauren Trimble, the chief of staff for County Judge Clay Jenkins’ office, said the county hopes to resume the clinics as soon as later this week.
“It depends on the impacts of the next winter weather system coming through, but we hope to open Thursday afternoon and operate Friday and Saturday,” Trimble said. “All depends on impacts though. Safety is our priority.”
Trimble said Dallas County has provided approximately 44,000 first doses of the vaccine so far.
In Collin County, the drive-thru clinic at Clark Stadium is shut down through Thursday.
“We will evaluate Thursday to see if it can open Friday,” said Tim Wyatt, spokesman for Collin County.
Denton County Public Health suspended the vaccine clinics that were set for this week at Texas Motor Speedway. Health officials said the severity of Tuesday night’s storm will determine when those will resume.
“We are awaiting better predicted weather and road conditions before scheduling clinics for this week and hope to provide an update on Thursday,” health officials said on Facebook. “We’re working directly with National Weather Service’s Fort Worth meteorologists to determine when it will be safe for community members to drive, as well as our staff and volunteers to be outside. Once scheduled, we will send appointments via text and email to the contact information provided for the first dose.”
Tuesday, Denton County Judge Andy Eads posted on Twitter that the vaccines are being stored safely during this period of non-use.
"Rest assured Denton County’s covid 19 vaccine is safe and sound in our health department freezers. We have a reliable back-up power source and in the event of a backup generator failure our partners have volunteered space for storage! Out next clinic date TBD."