DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson has issued an apology after residents voiced their frustrations with the city’s COVID-19 vaccination site at the convention center on Saturday.
The site at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center saw long lines throughout the day, with cars lined up for blocks. The drive-up, appointment-only site was meant to be efficient, but some residents saw it as anything but that on the site’s third day of operation.READ MORE: Former Dallas Police Chief Renee Hall Explains Why No Action Was Ever Taken Against Officer Bryan Riser, Now Charged With Capital Murder
Some residents believed the massive operation should not have been in the heart of downtown.
“It should not have been in downtown Dallas, it should have been outside somewhere in a giant stadium. Somewhere where there is a lot of room,” said Cat Carrell, a vaccine registrant.
“I was watching a lot of fights, break out behind us over people getting upset,” said Diana Clardy, a vaccine registrant.
Johnson on Sunday acknowledged those frustrations, saying the city had 2,700 doses left to give out on Saturday but a “link-sharing problem” led to “unauthorized appointments” that caused delays and confusion.READ MORE: Gov. Greg Abbott Responds To Criticism For Ending Mask Mandate, Fully Reopening Texas: 'There's Never Going To Be Uniform Agreement On This'
Johnson’s entire statement read:
“I was frustrated by the long delays and confusion Saturday at our COVID-19 vaccination hub at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center. It was a different operation than our first two days, which ran fairly smoothly. On Saturday, we had more than 2,700 doses left to give out in a single day, and we continued to have a link-sharing problem that led to people making unauthorized appointments.
“I am proud of our men and women of Dallas Fire-Rescue and the Dallas Office of Emergency Management who are working to get these life-saving vaccines to the people who need them most. The city is not a public health agency — that is why we contract with Dallas County — but we have gone above and beyond to help the state’s vaccine distribution efforts because we know this is critically important to our residents. We also knew we would have some challenges, especially as the very limited supply has created a massive pent-up demand that nobody is able to meet right now. But we are responsible and accountable for our issues, and we are working hard to solve them. I have heard from many of those affected yesterday, and to them I want to say we are sorry, and we will do better.”
The mayor said the convention center site will reopen on Tuesday as the city begins distributing 4,875 doses of the Pfizer vaccine.MORE NEWS: Visit Fort Worth Launches Campaign Promoting Businesses That Encourage Mask-Wearing
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