By Caroline Vandergriff

TARRANT COUNTY (CBSDFW.COM) – The City of Fort Worth opened a new mass vaccination clinic this week and is already giving booster shots to those who are eligible.

It’s similar to the drive-thru clinics they operated this past spring.

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“What’s unique about this one is you don’t have to have an appointment,” said Brandon Bennett, director of code compliance and public health for the City of Fort Worth. “You don’t have to show proof of insurance.”

You also don’t have to be a Fort Worth resident in order to get your first, second or third shot there.

“This is not about boundaries,” Bennett said. “The virus doesn’t know boundaries. The more people we get vaccinated as a nation, the quicker we’re going to get out of this pandemic.”

Since the clinic opened on Tuesday in the parking lot of the Wilkerson-Greines Activity Center, staff have been giving booster shots to those who are 65 years and older or immunocompromised after the FDA authorized its use in those categories.

A key CDC advisory panel voted Thursday afternoon to recommend the Pfizer booster shot for those groups as well. They rejected a proposal to give the third dose to those whose jobs put them at a high risk for infection.

The night before, the FDA expanded eligibility to include people in that category, like first responders or healthcare workers.

The CDC board’s recommendations aren’t binding.

Before the panel vote, Bennett said the city planned to dedicate a lane or two at the vaccination site for those frontline workers.

“We want to make it as convenient for our first responders and healthcare workers as we possibly can,” he said.

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They expect to see even more people in line at the site once word spreads about who can now get Pfizer’s booster dose.

“We heard that this place was available and it was close to us, so we just came,” said Belvia Thomas, who got her booster dose Thursday with her husband. “We wanted to be better protected.”

Over the summer, the city was doing 50 or less vaccinations a day at a different site.

On the first day at the new clinic, they gave more than 200 doses. The city plans to keep the clinic open as long as the demand is there.

Helpful pointers about the Wilkerson-Greines vaccination clinic:

Take your COVID-19 vaccination card with you to the clinic.

If you cannot find your card, staff can assist you onsite.

Remain in your vehicle at all times. Wear a mask or face covering.

Options for walk-ups will be made available, but everyone is reminded to be cautious of moving vehicles.

Third-shot COVID-19 booster vaccines for immunocompromised patients, along with first and second doses for all people 12 years of age and older, are available without charge 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Friday at Wilkerson-Greines Activity Center, 5201 C.A. Roberson Blvd. in south Fort Worth.

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The drive-thru clinic is administered by the City of Fort Worth with support from Tarrant County Public Health and the Fort Worth Independent School District.

Caroline Vandergriff