Recently, we had the opportunity to thank the many volunteers who donated their time and energy to help make our Denton County Vaccination Hub at Texas Motor Speedway (TMS) a tremendous success.
We gave more than 371,700 vaccinations to residents across the region, providing a good base toward herd immunity following more than a year of dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.
These volunteers came from across the U.S. – from Alaska to Arkansas as well as from many of our neighboring counties and the communities within the county. The Texas National Guard, FEMA, and other organizations sent volunteers to our hub. Police officers, firefighters, and EMTs spent countless hours directing traffic, drawing vaccine into syringes, giving shots, and monitoring vaccine recipients for reactions.
Our volunteers welcomed individuals with a smile, dancing as they directed traffic to stay warm in wintry weeks and offering comfort when a recipient shed tears of relief at receiving a much-desired vaccine.
On May 14, we recognized their valiant efforts on the last day at TMS, providing a barbecue meal, music, a slideshow of photos, giveaways including challenge coins, tumblers and t-shirts, and, most importantly, an opportunity to meet each other and collectively celebrate their commitment to helping others.
In the 16 weeks at TMS from Feb. 2 through May 14, we were able to create a system that ensured efficiency, easy access, and equitable distribution of a vaccine that would set the foundation for a return to normalcy.
Each of the estimated 8,120 volunteers who assisted in this effort can take credit for their contributions to the good of humanity and to helping their fellow residents in a time of need. These volunteers contributed 47,424 hours, saving county taxpayers an estimated $1,145,757. Never before in the history of our county, which is celebrating 175 years of existence this year, have we come together in such a fashion for a common purpose.
This effort demonstrated how a county of almost 1 million residents reached for the stars in setting a goal of vaccinating as many individuals as possible in a manner that has caught the attention of not only the White House but even national and international media.
Agencies across the U.S. as well as from neighboring counties visited our operation to determine how they could replicate our efficiencies in vaccinating large groups of individuals safely.
Our clinics set national records, we believe, vaccinating first 15,000-plus and then 17,003 individuals in a single day. With careful precision, we were able to avoid injuries in spite of moving thousands of cars into the clinic, through 16 lanes and back out every hour.
While we are no longer at TMS, these efforts continue on a smaller scale in neighborhood clinics across Denton County to ensure those who want the COVID-19 vaccine receive it. Recently, we opened the appointment system to provide more options for recipients to schedule their own dates and times among the available clinics in an attempt to make it more accessible for all.
We will never be able to thank our volunteers and staff enough for their outstanding efforts. However, we can all know that in this 175th year of existence, Denton County proved without any doubt that, together, we are all #DentonCountyStrong.
If you have any questions or comments, please let me hear from you.
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