DALLAS — There's not much time left for those wanting to get a COVID-19 vaccine at the mass vaccination site at Fair Park. Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins announced the site will close July 17 in preparation for the return of the State Fair of Texas.
Fair Park isn’t the first mass vaccination site to close. Since its opening, more than 400,000 residents have received the vaccine at the site, according to Dallas County Health and Human Services, a milestone reached at the end of April.
After a drop in demand, the city closed its location at the Potter’s House in May. Others like Parkland Health and Hospital shuttered doors to its Eastfield College site in May, too. Despite the closures, those still wanting to get the vaccine can do so, and, at most places, without an appointment.
Jenkins tweeted to encourage those who have yet to receive the COVID-19 to get it and educate his followers on the rise of the delta variant — first detected in the United States back in March.
“Our goal is to get over 80% of Dallas County residents who are eligible for the vaccine vaccinated,” Jenkins tweeted. “This will help us protect each other and ultimately stop the spread of COVID-19. Individuals who have been previously infected should still get vaccinated to best protect themselves and the community. It is important to note that the Delta variant, which is more contagious, more likely to cause hospitalizations and is deadlier, is growing rapidly.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the delta variant was initially identified last December in India. The CDC said three other variants — alpha, beta and gamma — can “spread more easily and quickly” in comparison, resulting in more cases of COVID-19. As of now, studies suggest that the vaccines, Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson, work to protect against these variants.
“Unfortunately, recovering from a different strain from COVID-19 is providing little to no protection against the Delta variant,” Jenkins wrote. “Fortunately, one dose of the COVID vaccine provides some protection and two doses provides very good protection against the Delta variant. Right now, we are seeing [the] highest number of hospitalizations in the region since mid-May.”
In a Thursday press briefing, White House officials said, “Virtually all COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths in the United States are now occurring among unvaccinated individuals.” At least 184 million people in the U.S. have gotten at least one dose of an authorized COVID-19, according to data from the CDC.
“As a country, we’re closer than ever to ending this pandemic and getting back to normal,” said Jeff Zients, White House COVID-19 response coordinator. “But, the sad reality is that, despite our progress, we’re still losing people to this virus which is especially tragic given, at this point, it is unnecessary and preventable.”
Last week, Dallas County reported that it reached herd immunity, one of the first in the state to do so.
“True herd immunity is when we do not see disease spread in the community,” Jenkins tweeted. “Continued emergence of variants of concern make it unclear when we will see a true end to spread in the community, but the best defense against COVID remains the vaccine. It is increasingly important to protect our children and the immunocompromised, by encouraging the unvaccinated to get the vaccine as soon as possible.”
For more information on COVID-19 and where to get vaccinated in Dallas County, visit Dallas County HHS.