Arlington City officials said they’re ready to receive and distribute 3,000 allotted doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to EMS first responders and select health care workers via a distribution center at Esports Stadium Arlington.
On Wednesday, Public Health officials, members of the Arlington Fire Department and American Medical Response representatives showcased the distribution site and Arlington’s detailed vaccine distribution process.
City officials said they don’t have a confirmed shipment date yet for when the vaccines will arrive in Arlington but anticipate them in the next several days.
“The simple fact of the matter is if we receive the vaccine this afternoon, we’re vaccinating tomorrow morning,” said Gerald Randall, Arlington Fire Department assistant chief.
The first batch of vaccines will go to health care providers. The city will first distribute the vaccine to 911 Emergency Medical Service System responders such as Arlington Fire Department firefighter paramedics, American Medical Response ambulance paramedics and EMS and paramedic workers from surrounding areas, in accordance with guidelines by the Texas Department of State Health Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“This is the first step in overcoming this pandemic… vaccinating our frontline health care providers, our frontline EMS responders, our frontline firefighters,” said Cynthia Simmons, city of Arlington public health authority. “They’re fighting this pandemic every single day.”
The Moderna vaccine needs to be administered in two doses 28 days apart, so the initial 3,000 allotted doses that the city receives will be the first half of that process for every individual, Simmons said.
Randall said health care providers and first responders will be encouraged to get the vaccine but are not required to. Simmons said people that are vaccinated will still have to follow social distancing protocols and precautions.
After Arlington first responders receive the vaccine, the city will focus on first responders and paramedics in the surrounding area such as Grapevine, Hurst, Euless, Bedford, Pantego and more cities on the eastern side of Tarrant County, Randall said. From there, other health care providers in Arlington and surrounding cities, such as school district nurses, are expected to receive the vaccine.
The health care providers set to be vaccinated will register online or on site and arrive at the Esports Stadium Arlington building from a side entrance. There, officials will take their temperatures, verify their registration, give the vaccine and place them in a viewing area to ensure they don’t have any allergic reactions, Randall said.
“We hope to go through 3,000 vaccines in three to four days,” Randall said. “We can have roughly 100 vaccines an hour.”
He said the city has more distribution plans drawn out and ready to go and will announce those plans as subsequent vaccine delivery amounts are known.