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City Of Dallas Launches Second Vaccination Site At Methodist Dallas Medical Center

Pam Stoyanoff.
Bret Jaspers
Pam Stoyanoff, the president and COO of Methodist Health System, said Methodist hopes to eventually use the hospital's own patient lists to reach more vulnerable racial and ethnic groups in the community.

The City of Dallas started a COVID-19 vaccination site at the Methodist Dallas Medical Center in Oak Cliff on Thursday.

The location will serve as a second distribution location for the city’s allotment of vaccines, joining the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in downtown.

“The plan is for Methodist to distribute through Friday,” said Bret Stidham, Chief of Staff for Dallas Fire Rescue. “At Kay Bailey [we’ll] have our allotment completed by the end of the day.”

Supply remains very limited. The city gets about 5,000 vaccine doses a week. Dallas County gets about 10,000, and health care providers in the county receive between 25,000 and 30,000 doses a week.

Dallas County is home to over 2.6 million people.

Methodist is using the county’s large registration database to set up appointments. Chief Operating Officer Pam Stoyanoff said they’re happy to use that list, but it’s cumbersome.

“When you try and start getting a hold of people, we’re finding that the amount of people that don’t even respond to us when we send emails out to register is like 50 percent,” she said. “It’s huge.”

People stand in line outside.
Methodist Health System
People line up to receive a vaccination at the new Methodist Dallas Medical Center location on Thursday, Feb. 4, 2021.

Stoyanoff hopes to eventually use the hospital's own patient lists to reach people, and said they could contact people in a targeted way in order to reach more vulnerable racial or ethnic groups, or people with chronic medical conditions that lead to severe cases of the virus.

“You have to have multiple ways to get at the community,” she said.

But it’s unclear if the state would give local governments and their partners much leeway to deviate from the official county list. In an effort to get vaccines to vulnerable communities, last month Dallas County tried to limit doses to eleven zip codes hit hard by the virus. After the state threatened to reduce its allocation, the county canceled that plan.

An email to the Department of State Health Services asking if a city could use a partner’s patient rolls to contact people for vaccine appointments was not immediately returned.

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Bret Jaspers is a reporter for KERA. His stories have aired nationally on the BBC, NPR’s newsmagazines, and APM’s Marketplace. He collaborated on the series Cash Flows, which won a 2020 Sigma Delta Chi award for Radio Investigative Reporting. He's a member of Actors' Equity, the professional stage actors union.