Collin County Health Care Services this week set up a website where eligible citizens can sign up to receive the vaccine. Thousands of people registered to receive the first round of the COVID-19 vaccine, creating a waiting list that seemed to be growing by the hour.
By 2 p.m. Tuesday, more than 16,000 people had signed up through the site to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, though none seems to be available at this time. An hour later, about 23,000 people had signed up, an official said during a McKinney City Council work session Tuesday afternoon.
Last week, the county health department received 1,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine. By the weekend, they had already given out those doses, Collin County Judge Chris Hill said in a statement. He added that no other shipments have reached the county health department.
Elsewhere in the county, about 16,000 doses have reached pharmacies, hospitals and other health care providers, Hill said.
COVID information void
Since last week, thousands of people have been swarming officials’ emails and phones for information about where to get the vaccine, according to county officials. State and federal officials projected it will take months for the vaccine to reach everybody who wants it. McKinney Mayor George Fuller said Tuesday afternoon that “a tremendous lack of information” has complicated the rollout of the vaccine.
“In the absence of communication, people assume the worst,” he said.
The McKinney school district, fire department, and other city officials plan to fill this information vacuum, Mayor Fuller said. For the last week, they have been orchestrating a plan to distribute vaccines within the city.
City officials will also publish the latest information about the vaccine online.
“Everything from information to getting them a shot in the arm if they so desired,” Fuller said.
The McKinney Fire Department sent a request to the Texas Department of State Health Services to get 10,000 doses of the vaccine. As of Tuesday evening, the department had not heard back from the state.
Last week, after officials gave the green light for the next wave of people to receive the vaccine, governments across North Texas published websites where people could register for the vaccine.
Collin County, however, was offering a phone number for people to call or scheduling an appointment with the health department.
Now that Collin County’s website is up and running, Fuller said the city will not publish its own website. Instead, they will get a daily briefing from the county on how many McKinney residents signed up to receive the vaccine.
From there, the city plans to mobilize its own teams and facilities to make sure residents get a vaccine. The city is looking into which school district and recreational facilities it could use as designated vaccination locations.
Council member Frederick Frazier said he was vaccinated on Monday. He pointed out that people are not required to get this vaccine, a notion he said he’s heard from many of his constituents.
“It’s if you want it,” he said. “It’s not mandatory for the public nor [government] employees.”