Dallas (1080 KRLD) - Dallas County Health and Human Services says it has struck a deal with the State Fair of Texas to offer a walk-up vaccination clinic during the fair, which starts September 24. Right now, the health department runs a drive-thru vaccination clinic in a parking lot on Saturdays.
Last weekend, Dallas County celebrated its 500,000th shot given at Fair Park. During the fair itself, vaccinations will be available at a site near Big Tex.
Dallas County commissioners have also approved funding to give each person who gets vaccinated at the site $20 in coupons to use at the fair.
"We're going to be really promoting that," says Dr. Philip Huang, director of Dallas County Health and Human Services.
Huang says COVID-19 hospitalizations have continued increasing, from less than 200 in Dallas County at the end of June to almost 800 now.
"The vast majority of everyone who is hospitalized and who is dying of this is unvaccinated," he says. "That's where this is, essentially, a preventable situation."
Huang says the rate of vaccinations has increased from about 15,000 three weeks ago to 35,000 last week.
"We're hopeful we can stay at least at that level," he says. "In some of the UT Southwestern models, to actually turn this around, it would take going up to 40,000 or more."
Huang says, in Dallas County, 54% of people 12 and older are fully vaccinated; 75% of people 65 and older are vaccinated. He says the county is already offering a third dose of the vaccine to immunocompromised people, and the county will be prepared to offer booster shots.
"We are ready for that," Huang says. "Unfortunately, we still have a lot of people who are waiting to get their second dose or their first dose."
Across Texas, the Department of State Health Services says 54.6% of people 12 and older are fully vaccinated; 75.9% of those 65 and older are fully vaccinated.
DSHS also says hospitalizations across the state have increased from 1,428 on June 27 to 11,791 Monday.
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