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Advocates say COVID-19 vaccine registration is crucial, as Dallas County reports its deadliest week

Getting people registered as early as possible is crucial to fighting the coronavirus pandemic.

DALLAS — Community organizers are working to get hundreds of Oak Cliff residents registered for the coronavirus vaccine, as Dallas County ends its deadliest week since the pandemic began

Dallas County reported 1,920 COVID-19 cases and 21 deaths Saturday, capping a week with 138 deaths. 

Chad West, city councilman for North Oak Cliff, was one of several advocates on hand outside Bishop Barbers on Jefferson Boulevard Saturday, where more than 250 people were registered to eventually receive the COVID-19 vaccine. 

“We found with a lot of elderly folks that live in the neighborhood, they are just intimidated going online, some of them don’t have internet access,” said West. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has hit Black and Latino communities especially hard. 

Hospitalization rates are almost four times higher than those of white Americans, and death rates are almost three times higher, according to the CDC.

Despite the disproportionate effects, Blacks and Latinos are less likely to seek vaccines, according to CDC data. 

West said he’s seeing similar trends in his district.

“There was a disparity of people of color, people primarily south of I-30 not getting registered," said West.

That’s why he and other organizers are taking it one step at a time.

“You’re not going to ever get a vaccination if you’re not registered,” West said. “The best thing you can do is get out there in the streets, talk to your neighbors, help people get registered if you can.”

The group is planning to host another registration drive Sunday near the corner of Jefferson Blvd. and S. Adams Avenue. 

The Dallas County Health and Human Services Vaccine Registration Hotline can be reached at 469-749-9900. The hotline hours are Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Registration assistance is available in English and Spanish. Registration may also be submitted online here.