After a fight with the state, Tarrant Public Health receives COVID-19 vaccine this week

Brian Lopez
·2 min read

Tarrant County Public Health’s COVID-19 vaccine allocation was restored this week after the state reduced its allotment last week because a federally supported COVID-19 vaccinated site opened in Arlington.

The public health department received 10,000 first doses of the Moderna vaccine, making this allocation the most the county has received. But county judge Glen Whitley said the state is still shorting the county and its partners.

That’s because the state allocated no first dose vaccines to the Arlington Fire Department and cut by half Texas Health Resources’ allocation. Both are county partners and vaccinate people from the county’s registration list. This represented a reduction of 11,000 doses.

In recent weeks, Tarrant County and its partners have received 25,750 doses — 7,000 for the Arlington Fire Department, 9,000 for Tarrant County Public Health and 9,750 for Texas Health Resources. This week, they’ll have 14,680 combined. The state reduced allocations because of the FEMA sites, Whitley said last week.

The decrease in allocation started last week, when Tarrant and Dallas counties got fewer COVID-19 vaccines from the state as FEMA opened sites in Arlington and Dallas. Another FEMA site also opened in Harris County.

“[The state] told us that our weekly allocations were not going to be reduced and they were,” Whitley said Monday. “That’s the problem that I continue to have.”

State officials did not immediately respond for comment.

Texas’ three federal sites sites target minority and low-income communities and pulls people from Tarrant County’s registration list.

The three federal sites received more than 84,000 doses from FEMA last week so the state’s Expert Vaccine Allocation Panel recommended sending additional doses to parts of the state that have not received nearly as much vaccine per person, a state spokesperson said last week.

This week, the three FEMA locations were allocated the same amount.

During the last 11 weeks of vaccine allocation, Texas Health Resources has received an average of about 8,200 doses per week. This week it received 4,680. The Arlington Fire Department, which vaccinates people at Esports Stadium Arlington, has received an average of about 10,428 doses in the seven weeks that the state gave Arlington vaccines.

In the last two weeks, Arlington Fire has received no vaccines. It will continue to give second doses this week and expects to wrap-up second doses the week after, said Richard Fegan, Arlington Fire Department spokesperson.