Data analysis: Dallas County could reach herd immunity by end of June

Dallas resident Alisia Thomas, a health care worker, receives her first dose of the Pfizer vaccine Feb. 5. (Liesbeth Powers/Community Impact Newspaper)
Dallas resident Alisia Thomas, a health care worker, receives her first dose of the Pfizer vaccine Feb. 5. (Liesbeth Powers/Community Impact Newspaper)

Dallas resident Alisia Thomas, a health care worker, receives her first dose of the Pfizer vaccine Feb. 5. (Liesbeth Powers/Community Impact Newspaper)

A new analysis has found that Dallas County’s coronavirus case recoveries and vaccinations could get the county to herd immunity before the end June.

Steve Miff, president and CEO of Parkland Center for Clinical Innovation, discussed his organization’s data analysis during a press conference Feb. 23 with Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins.

“We’re close to 45% toward that goal of 80% [immunity to COVID-19],” Miff said, noting about 35% of the county’s population has recovered from the virus and another 10% have been vaccinated. “We still have a ways to go, and we're not going to get there by getting infected; we're going to get there by being vaccinated.”

Miff explained PCCI, which is a nonprofit health care analytics research and development organization, has been working with Dallas County Health and Human Services and its director, Dr. Philip Huang, to track COVID-19 for the past year. Miff explained the organization’s forecast for reaching herd immunity is based on collected data and statistical models using local, national and international research. PCCI's website states its estimates were reviewed by experts at UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas County Health and Human Services, and Parkland Health & Hospital System.

Jenkins cautioned against over-optimism about PCCI’s analysis.

“These are sophisticated guesses,” the county judge said. “These are scientists and data analysts looking at the numbers and doing their very best to give us information. It doesn’t mean that we can let our guard down, and it doesn’t mean necessarily that it’s going to be right, but it is encouraging news.”

In order for Dallas County to get to the 80% level of immunity by the middle of June, Miff said the county will need to administer 65,000 vaccinations per week.

“[With] the current rates of roughly 43,000 vaccinations per week, which we've been able to do the last couple weeks, we're not going to get [to herd immunity] until August,” Miff said. “We have to receive the vaccines. We have to administer the vaccines. Individually, we have to register for the vaccines. And we continually need to educate our family members, our neighbors [and] the community about the effectiveness and the safety of the vaccine so more and more of our neighbors participate.”

PCCI will continue to track the vaccinations and update its analysis on a monthly basis, Miff said.

“This presupposes that people continue to wear masks, social distance and do the things that they're doing now,” Jenkins said. “And that there's not a huge lapse in that.”

Jenkins said Dallas County was allotted 45,000 vaccines this week by the state, but the county is working to get an additional allotment from the federal government that would bring its total to 66,000 vaccines next week.
By William C. Wadsack
William C. Wadsack is the senior reporter for the Plano and Richardson editions of Community Impact Newspaper. He previously served as managing editor of several daily and weekly publications in North Texas and his native state of Louisiana before joining Community Impact Newspaper in 2019.


Plano ISD board meeting
Plano ISD facilities sustained more than $1.7M in damage during winter storms

Though last month’s winter storms caused an estimated $1.7 million in damage to 53 campuses and facilities, Plano ISD personnel expect the district will only have to pay its $100,000 insurance deductible for the needed repairs.

Renovations at the Chick-fil-A in the Richardson Square development are slated to be complete later this spring. (Courtesy Chick-fil-A)
Richardson Chick-fil-A closes for upgrades; Eight|11 restaurant reopens in Frisco and more DFW-area news

Read the latest business and community news from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced March 2 that mask mandates and business capacity restrictions will be lifted in Texas. (Courtesy Office of the Texas Governor)
Gov. Greg Abbott lifts statewide mask mandate, business restrictions in Texas

With vaccine distribution increasing, Gov. Greg Abbott said "people and businesses don't need the state telling them how to operate." Some local officials are pushing back, saying the relaxed restrictions are coming too early.

Richardson Police Department’s new Crisis Intervention Team began operations in October. (William C. Wadsack/Community Impact Newspaper)
New Richardson police team aims to curtail local mental health crises through proactive intervention

The recently launched Crisis Intervention Team is a partnership with Methodist Richardson Medical Center.

The city of Richardson is offering water bill adjustments due to winter storm leaks. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
Richardson City Council approves emergency authorization for storm-related relief programs

Approval of three relief avenues will cost the city approximately $490,000, Deputy City Manager Don Magner said.

Enrollment issues related to the coronavirus pandemic could lead to budget deficits of around $10 million each for Richardson and Plano ISDs. (Courtesy Fotolia)
Millions in lost enrollment dollars looms for Richardson, Plano ISDs

TEA implemented a hold-harmless guarantee for the first semester of the 2020-21 school year, which ensured that districts would receive their anticipated funding regardless of changes to attendance or enrollment. But TEA had not applied the guarantee to the spring semester as of Feb. 23.

Scooter's Coffee is now open at 1451 E. Buckingham Road in Richardson. (William C. Wadsack/Community Impact Newspaper)
Scooter's Coffee opens in Richardson; Hawaiian Bros restaurant coming to Fort Worth and more DFW-area news

Read the latest business and community news from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Chick-fil-A food.
Chick-fil-A in Richardson Square closed for renovations

The work being done includes upgrades to its interior and drive-thru enhancements to improve efficiency, a company representative said.

Harvest Hall officially opened Feb. 6 in Grapevine as part of the Grapevine Main development. (Sandra Sadek/Community Impact Newspaper)
Harvest Hall now open in Grapevine, new dining options in Fort Worth and more DFW news from February

Here are some of the top stories from the past month from the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex.

digital rendering of virus
Collin County Judge Chris Hill rescinds COVID-19 disaster declaration

Collin County’s declaration of local disaster in response to COVID-19 was rescinded Feb. 26 by Judge Chris Hill.

See how COVID-19 impacted Dallas County over the last week. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Tracking COVID-19: New cases drop after power outages, testing site closures in Dallas County

After a recent decline in new coronavirus cases in Dallas County, officials expect the case counts to rise again in the coming days as testing facilities have reopened following winter storm closures from being without power last week.

Hooks family.
Richardson institution Hooks Vacuums offers vacuum sales, repairs

Hooks Vacuums has long been a familiar sight for those driving down Main Street in Richardson.