UTA opened its community vaccination site Wednesday, which will provide vaccines to students, staff and the general public as the university gears up for an incoming fall semester of mostly in-person classes.

Interim President Teik Lim said getting vaccinated is the first step towards returning to normal operations on campus and in the community.

The vaccination site is a joint effort between UTA, Tarrant County and the University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth. Jessica Rangel, University of North Texas Health Science Center senior vice president of clinical innovation, said the site will benefit UTA students, faculty and the local community.

“Anyone who wants a vaccine, we are here,” she said. “We have the capacity to give over 600 vaccines a day.”

The vaccination site will operate Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and will distribute first-dose Pfizer vaccines for the first two weeks of operation. People interested in receiving a vaccine can either register for an appointment online or walk in. The last three weeks of the program will focus on administering second-dose vaccinations.

“If you look at the numbers, lots of individuals got their first, but haven’t gotten around to getting the second. They’re too busy,” Rangel said. “So we want to make sure that we are here for that.”

UTA is offering free parking adjacent to the Physical Education Building while the site is in operation.

Tarrant County Commissioner Devan Allen said the site will supplement existing Tarrant County vaccination efforts. As of May 5, about 21% of Tarrant County residents are fully vaccinated, according to the Tarrant County COVID-19 vaccine tracker.

Allen said the University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth has partnered with OptumServe to staff the vaccination site. She said the county will communicate and coordinate with their partners at UNT to maximize efficiency at the UTA site.

Rangel said UTA’s site is one of several community vaccination sites organized by the University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth, and the program will support an ongoing effort to reach communities with low vaccination rates.

“We’ll choose our communities based on the number of registrations in that area,” she said. “So if we see that that registration is low, we will be there.”

UTA has also partnered with Texas Health Resources to give UTA faculty, staff and students priority access to six Texas Health Community Clinics around the Metroplex.

More information on the six clinics can be found here.

@ColeKembel

news-editor.shorthorn@uta.edu

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