Arlington’s large-scale vaccination site closed Monday, and residents seeking a COVID-19 vaccine will likely have to travel outside the city to receive them.
The city’s community vaccination center, operated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, was discontinued after providing Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines over a two-month period.
Lt. Richard Fegan, Arlington Fire Department public information officer, said the decision to close the community vaccination center was because of dwindling vaccination registration numbers through Tarrant County Public Health.
“[The] need in Arlington for mass vaccination sites just currently isn’t there like it once was,” he said.
The center operated seven days a week since Feb. 26, according to previous Shorthorn reporting. The site initially began operations in Globe Life Field before moving to the Esports Stadium Arlington and Expo Center and later to AT&T Stadium.
Fegan said residents interested in registering can still sign up through the Tarrant County Public Health website and select their desired vaccination location almost immediately, but that location will likely be outside of Arlington.
Initially, Arlington began providing vaccines at the Esports Stadium Arlington and Expo Center in December, but vaccine distribution was consolidated after FEMA-led operations began.
Now, the only non-private vaccine administration site in the city is located in the fire department’s Public Health Unit. The site is administering second-dose Moderna vaccines, with about 40 to 100 doses distributed each day, and there are no walk-in options available.
The community vaccination center provided over 130,000 first-dose and second-dose Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines and over 7,000 single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccines, according to a city of Arlington news release.
The Public Health Unit is also the base of operations for mobile vaccination efforts for socially vulnerable and underserved residents, which are on pause while the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine awaits federal review.
Fegan said these efforts are expected to continue soon.
“There is a point where, regardless of the federal guidance, we’ll just have to start going with Moderna or Pfizer,” he said.
Fegan said the Johnson & Johnson vaccine made serving homebound residents easier, but the department is still committed to assisting those who cannot leave their homes.
“If we need to go to people’s houses twice, we will,” he said.
The fire department currently has over 40,000 Johnson & Johnson vaccines on standby.
Fegan said more information on vaccination efforts may be available by the end of the week.