Although the city phased out vaccinations at the McKinney ISD Stadium in April, the fire department kept up inoculations by pivoting to high-risk, underserved individuals. Since operations at the stadium ended, firefighters have vaccinated 1,300 people, according to a news release from the city of McKinney.
The department partnered with local churches that have large Black and Latino congregations. Paramedics also worked with the McKinney Police Department to vaccinate members of the homeless population, per the news release.
Five East McKinney churches facilitated signups by posting registration links on their individual websites and encouraging members to get vaccinated at the McKinney ISD Stadium in the spring.
“We are standing as community leaders to say, ‘We believe it’s safe to be vaccinated, and we are vaccinated,’” said the Rev. Louis Rosenthal, pastor of The McKinney First Baptist Church. “We’re not telling you to do something that we haven’t done.”
The fire department also hosted a clinic at The McKinney First Baptist Church, located on West Erwin Avenue, as part of its vaccine outreach events, per the news release.
About 35 people attended the clinic, but Rosenthal said the low turnout was likely due to the fact that more than 250 members received vaccines at the stadium through the church’s promotion.
Rosenthal said that his main concern was making sure that “the most vulnerable in our community” had access to the vaccine.
A spokesperson for the city said that the fire department is finished with their vaccine efforts for now.
As of June 16, just over 1 million people in Collin County were fully vaccinated, according to state data.