It’s Official: Abbott Announces Three Federal Vaccine Sites In North Texas & Houston
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced the launching of three “mass community vaccination sites” in North Texas and Houston.
Two sites will be located at AT&T Stadium in Arlington and Fair Park in Dallas. A third site will open at NRG Stadium in Houston.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency will run the sites, “in partnership with the state of Texas through the Texas Division of Emergency Management,” according to a Wednesday release from Abbott’s office.
Abbott had teased the announcement with a tweet on Monday. He said the sites would probably involve “5000-6000 additional vaccinations per day, 7 days a week for 8 weeks.”
Texas is working with FEMA to create some Super Sites for vaccinations.— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) February 8, 2021
Initially it would likely be 2 sites with 5000-6000 additional vaccinations per day, 7 days a week for 8 weeks.
It would likely start in Houston & Dallas -- with possible expansion to other locations.
Dallas County has already established a vaccination hub at Fair Park, where it administers about 10,000 vaccines per week.
Abbott’s office said officials are now preparing the three sites and expect them to be ready on Feb. 24. Registration details are forthcoming, the release said.
Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said the federal vaccination site at Fair Park in Dallas will support efforts to more equitably distribute COVID-19 vaccines.
“These much-needed resources will help us reach some of our hardest-hit communities and ensure that more residents access the vaccine in a fair and equitable manner,” he said.
Jenkins said the vaccination site will also help families return to a sense of normalcy.
“We know that the day can’t come soon enough when families can embrace their parents or grandparents without fear,” he said. “This announcement gets us closer to that day.”
In a statement, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner thanked Biden for the federal support.
"Getting the vaccine into the arms of as many people as possible as quickly as possible is vital to ending this pandemic and saving lives," Turner said.
"We look forward to working with FEMA, the Texas Division of Emergency Management and Harris County to iron out the details, including registration and access. We must work collaboratively to vaccinate as many people as possible and in a targeted way to include a diverse population."
Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo also commended the decision in a statement Wednesday.
"We’re grateful for the Biden administration’s aggressive push to increase vaccination capacity across our region, and for taking us up on our offer to use Harris County’s NRG Park as a vaccination site," Hidalgo wrote.
San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg says the state should consider opening a site in his city.
"San Antonio has shown throughout this pandemic that we have been able to innovate and step up where needed and right now we could operate a super site at this moment if we had the supplies to come in," he said. "So that's our message, as state leaders determine where these super sites go, San Antonio should be at the top of the list."
Abbott said once initial sites are set up, they could expand to other locations.
This is a developing story.
The Texas Newsroom's Becky Fogel and Houston Public Media's Lucio Vasquez contributed to this story.
KERA News is made possible through the generosity of our members. If you find this reporting valuable, consider making a tax-deductible gift today. Thank you.