Opinion

From church to a local bar district, the COVID-19 vaccine is coming a place near you

Look for a shot at several churches, Deep Ellum and even Dallas Love Field.

Remember when demand far outstripped the supply of COVID-19 vaccines? Back then lines were long and people were scrambling to get a shot at a shot.

Now there are plenty of doses, but not enough people stepping up for them. So even while half the people in Dallas County (and Texas as a whole) have received at least one shot, we are far from reaching the 80% vaccination rate that experts call “herd immunity,” which will enable all of us to get back to normal life.

So even while megahubs like Fair Park are seeing demand fall, we’re encouraged to see an aggressive push to bring the vaccine closer to residents, to meet them where they are. In partnership with Dallas County, First Baptist Dallas will host a vaccination clinic at the church on May 16. Executive pastor Ben Lovvorn said all are welcome.

“We want to offer our church family and others a safe path to returning to corporate worship and Christian fellowship,” he told us.

Meanwhile, the Dallas mayor’s office and the city are separately helping organize vaccination clinics at historically Black churches — Friendship-West Baptist Church on Friday and Saturday and Bethel AME Church on Monday. The city gets its own vaccine allotment from the state, while Mayor Eric Johnson is working with other vaccine providers to distribute their doses.

Clinics are also popping up at schools, community venues, rec centers and even at Dallas Love Field airport. Dallas County is working with a Deep Ellum school to host vaccine clinics in the evenings later this month, and officials are reaching out to businesses in the popular bar district to see if they’ll offer freebies to people who get the shot.

While many of these efforts lead to a relatively small number of new vaccinations, to Angela Morris, senior director of community relations at Parkland, every shot in arm is an improvement from the day before. The hospital system recently hosted two clinics at a middle school and rec center in Oak Cliff that vaccinated nearly 600 people. Parkland’s team canvassed the neighborhoods in the days before the event and promoted it on radio and TV with the help of donations. Greeters stood by the door to field questions, including those from people on the fence about whether to get the vaccine.

Morris said science is important, but so is speaking in terms that reflect what individuals care about.

“Some people are like, ‘Scratch that. How will this vaccine work for me and how I live my life?’ You have to be patient with people and just hear them out,” Morris told us. “That’s the part they really appreciate.”

In our view, this new phase is a critical step to reaching mass vaccinations. What’s needed for this to be successful is for members of the community to step up and get their vaccinations. If you haven’t gotten your shot yet, we’ll be blunt: It’s now your turn. There is a vaccine waiting for you. You just need to come and claim it.

Upcoming vaccine clinics

Find some Dallas-based vaccination opportunities below. This is not a comprehensive list. (The Dallas Love Field pop-up vaccination site will distribute doses only to airport employees for now.)

Omni Dallas Hotel

555 S Lamar St., Dallas

6 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. May 7

Friendship-West Baptist Church

2020 W. Wheatland Road, Dallas

8 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 7 and May 8

Galleria Dallas (ice rink level)

13350 Dallas Parkway, Dallas

10 a.m. to 7 p.m. May 7 and 8

Valenceo @ Midtown Apartments

7222 Fair Oaks Ave., Dallas

10 a.m. to 7 p.m. May 8

The Brooklyn at 9669

9669 Forest Lane, Dallas

10 a.m. to 7 p.m. May 8

Arcadia Park Branch Library

1302 N. Justin Ave., Dallas

10 a.m. to 7 p.m. May 8

Bethel AME Church

1638 E. Ann Arbor Ave., Dallas

10 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 10

Beckley Saner Rec Center

114 W. Hobson Ave., Dallas

10 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 11

David G. Burnet Elementary School

3200 Kinkaid Drive, Dallas

9 a.m. to 1 p.m. May 15

Second dose will be given 21 days later on June 5

First Baptist Dallas - Jeffress Fountain Plaza

1707 San Jacinto St., Dallas TX 75201

12:30 p.m. May 16

Dallas Morning News Editorial. Dallas Morning News editorials are written by the paper's Editorial Board and serve as the voice and view of the paper. The board considers a broad range of topics and is overseen by the Editor of Editorials.

editorialboard@dallasnews.com @dmnopinion
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