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Fire chief says El Paso won’t reach herd immunity goal until next year

EL PASO, Texas-- More than 125,000 residents have registered to receive the Covid-19 vaccine so far.

The hope was to reach a level of herd immunity sometime this year. City officials fear the rate of vaccines is too low to count on that. They believe herd immunity is still a year away.

"We have over 125,000 and climbing signed up on the EP Strong website. Yet we are only receiving about 5,000 vaccines a week above our allotment. At this rate, we will not be vaccinated our herd immunity goal for our community until 2022," Fire Chief Mario D'Agostino said.

The demand continues to be astronomically higher than the supply of vaccines for the city, leading many to feel like they've been left out in the dark.

The city announced they are rolling out a mass communication effort to keep the community informed. City officials say they will be rolling out mass emails to inform those already pre-registered.

"We want to make sure that we are letting people know on a regular basis what the status of the vaccine supply and things that are happening. The most recent one was released this morning and it contains a lot of information about the status right now as to where we are," said Tracey Jerome, deputy city manager.

City officials say they are pushing to broadcast the most accurate information. The frenzy over the vaccine is leading to a lot of disinformation circulating in the community.

"We want to make sure everyone is aware and have the most up-to-date accurate information because not all information floating around there is accurate. So we feel it is really important that with regular communication with that entire pre-registered group that we can make sure that people feel that they can derive an extra level of comfort," Jerome said.

The city recommends folks with an appointment show up on time. Recently people began arriving early adding to the backlog.

"We encourage those who have scheduled an appointment to arrive on time. Do not show up early or late. Arriving early or late only causes a delay in the process and adds to the wait time for all," D'Agostino said.

Article Topic Follows: Coronavirus

JC Navarrete

El Paso native JC Navarrete co-anchors ABC-7’s weekend newscasts and reports during the week.

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