In Tarrant County, fewer people are vaccinated than initially hoped – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

In the first weekend of vaccinations for health workers and first responders in Tarrant County, the goal was to give 1,000 shots a day. But only about 700 people showed up every day.

The goal may have been optimistic, the start is just underway, and the holiday weekend may be partly to blame, but the lower-than-expected turnout underscores the reluctance of some to get a voluntary vaccine, considered by experts to be needed to end the pandemic.

At a temporary vaccination clinic set up in a provincial building in South Fort Worth, Cmdr. Bryan Sudan of the sheriff in Tarrant County was among those who pulled up his sleeve.

“It’s an easy decision,” he said. “Everyone has been affected by this and if you do not have it, you will do the same.”

Sudan said his own brother is now in hospital with COVID and three of his sheriff’s associates have died from the virus.

But for some, getting a chance is not easy.

Even in the medical field, some workers just do not want it.

In a survey of ambulance workers about a month ago, it was found that only 60 to 65% said they would take the vaccine, said Matt Zavadsky, Medstar.

Some are concerned that it was approved too quickly and that it could be dangerous or simply ineffective, Zavadsky said.

“The good news is that as vaccination education has improved, more of our people have indicated that they want to be vaccinated,” he said. “It’s never going to be 100%.”

Stephen Love, director of the North Texas Hospital Board, said he believes, based on his conversations with hospital managers, that about 70% of health care workers plan to get the vaccine.

But he said the percentage is much higher for doctors.

‘99% of doctors want the vaccine, ‘Love said. ‘So if you look at the doctors, the trained scientists who accept the medical evidence, they all take the vaccine. You will always have people who are hesitant. “

Meanwhile, COVID patients go to hospitals in North Texas at an alarming rate, and more in Tarrant County than anywhere else in the region.

First responders in Fort Worth now handle an average of 117 COVID-19 calls each day.

Only those patients who are seriously ill are brought to the hospital.

“Things get really strict,” Love said. “We are very concerned.”

And the models predict that things will only get worse.

“And we have not even seen the Christmas peak yet,” Zavadsky added. “So we’re definitely worried about the next week or two.”

Back at the vaccination clinic, the hope was that the solution would be in sight if enough people got the vaccination.

“You have to trust science and trust the science in question,” Sudan said.

* Map locations are approximate, centrally located to the city and are not intended to indicate where actual infected people live.

** Land totals below include all 32 states of North Texas, not just Collin, Dallas, Denton and Tarrant.