When Rose Machen received her appointment time to receive her first COVID vaccine dose Friday at Globe Life Field in Arlington, her first thought was “hallelujah.”
Receiving the vaccine will not change much for her and her family in Fort Worth, Machen said. However, she will let her granddaughter attend fifth grade classes in person again.
“We’ve just been waiting for it,” Machen said. “She’s happy.”
As Machen waited to enter the stadium, Angelia Minter of Fort Worth walked out. Despite fears about possible side effects, Minter said she felt fine after her appointment.
“I was just a little skeptical,” Minter said, but the benefits of the vaccine outweighed the potential side effects.
Machen and Minter were two of thousands invited to receive their round-one Pfizer vaccine at the ballpark, which opened Friday as a community vaccination center. Officials with Arlington’s Emergency Management Office, state Division of Emergency Management and Federal Emergency Management Agency hope to administer 21,000 shots per week over eight weeks. Globe Life Field will host the vaccination center for a month before it moves to AT&T Stadium.
The White House announced Feb. 10 that Arlington was a site for one of three large-scale vaccination centers in the state. The only way for people to receive a vaccination from either stadium is by registering through Tarrant County Public Health’s website and receiving an appointment time.
The site’s operations are based off systems already in place at the Esports Stadium Arlington distribution center, which state and federal leaders have praised for its efficiency. To help run the larger site, FEMA deployed 140 U.S. Marines and sailors from the 1st Marine Logistics Group to help.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity to have this venue and how big this space is,” said Maj. Greg Moynihan, who oversees the Marine Logisitcs Group. “Obviously everything’s a logistical challenge. The easiest thing would’ve been a massive warehouse, but what a venue.”