FEMA vaccination mega-sites playing catch-up

FILE - In this Jan. 20, 2021, file photo, people that received a COVID-19 vaccine socially distance as they wait the required fifteen minutes to monitor for adverse reactions after getting the shot at the Dallas County mass vaccination site at Fair Park in Dallas. (AP Photo/LM Otero, File) (Lm Otero, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

AUSTIN, Texas – Federal and military crews began playing catch-up with second-dose COVID-19 vaccinations in Texas interrupted by last week’s cold wave.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency began administering 42,000 doses Wednesday at Fair Park in Dallas to those from underprivileged ZIP code zones who had signed up for second doses. On Friday, they move on to a vaccination mega-site at Globe Life Field in Arlington. FEMA is also administering second doses at NRG Stadium in Houston to those signed up for them.

The vaccinations came as state health officials reported 7,000 new coronavirus cases and 339 new deaths from COVID-19, the illness the coronavirus causes.

The newly reported cases and deaths pushed the total number of Texas cases reported during the pandemic to 2,613,792 and the state’s pandemic death toll to almost 41,980, according to statistics compiled by the Texas Department of State Health Services. The state estimated that 185,190 COVID-19 cases are active, with 6,738 cases needing hospitalization. Both continue a slowly diminishing trend.

According to Johns Hopkins University researchers, the two-week rolling average of new cases has fallen to 6,314 per day, a 51% decrease.