With the waiting list for a vaccine in Dallas County now at one million people, those with time are getting back on the road.
Many are doing an hour or so driving on I-45 to Corsicana, a small area of small town charm and, more importantly, an ample supply of vaccines.
“We get an allowance of about 1,500 shots per week,” Fire Chief Paul Henley said.
Henley is in charge of managing the Navarro County Immunization Clinic, with firefighters, police officers, volunteers, and nursing students from Navarro College in Corsicana.
In recent weeks, Henley said they have been able to send invitations almost immediately to everyone registered on the county portal.
Recently, that includes those who are not yet eligible.
He said that about 80% of those they have seen have been out-of-county residents.
“We’ve had them from as far away as Georgetown, San Antonio, to get the vaccine, and that’s comforting because we know we’re doing well for a lot of people,” Henley said.
Stephanie Mears and Joshua Hernandez said it was a two-hour drive for them as they battled traffic coming from the colony.
Still, they’ll tell you it was worth it.
“I think we are excited and happy,” Mears said.
“It’s a bit surreal,” Hernández said.
After watching the family struggle to find a vaccine, the couple were willing to go to great lengths to receive a vaccine that would protect not only themselves, but their loved ones as well.
And under the guidance of health officials in DFW’s largest municipalities, that meant signing up for the vaccine everywhere rather than waiting at sites that could take weeks.
“We saw some Oklahoma license plates in the parking lot. So there is definitely a desire and a demand for this, ”Hernández said.
In Navarro County, Henley said they are happy to help.
“We want to be a great steward of our assets and be what we can be for the state of Texas and our citizens,” Henley said.
Still, he said discussions have started about how long it makes sense to keep a site open there.
In Navarro County, they rely on more limited resources in a smaller community to now help serve the larger populations.
That’s why Henley has turned to the county to see how both his vaccine allocation and his team can better help serve Texans right now.
Henley said one possibility is to create another center closer to the metroplex.
And for some who have made the trip, that makes sense.
“I know there are people who cannot or cannot afford to drive for two hours, so we are fortunate in that regard. But we hope it will be more accessible to more people, ”said Mears.
But until then, if and when it happens, Henley said Navarro County remains committed to helping Texas overcome this crisis.
The Navarro County Vaccine Clinic is open Wednesdays and Thursdays. Click here to register for a vaccine in Navarro County.