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Dallas County partners with grocery stores to vaccinate over 8,000 essential workers

On Monday, the Essential Employees Vaccination Program was announced by Dallas County, Parkland Hospital, Kroger and the Texas Retailers Association.

DALLAS — On Monday in Texas, those 16 and older became eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine. In Dallas County, officials are making sure essential workers are a priority.

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins announced the Essential Employees Vaccination Program. The county partnered with Parkland Health and Hospital System, Kroger, and the Texas Retailers Association to create this program.

RELATED: All adults in Texas are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine starting Monday. Here's what to know

"We need to get them inoculated because they have done so much for us during this pandemic. And you know, when they are all inoculated and safe, that makes all the shoppers that much more safe," said Judge Jenkins. 

Trays of Pfizer vaccines will be delivered to Kroger, Tom Thumb, Albertsons, and Target stores in Dallas County to vaccinate its employees. Each tray has 1,170 shots. Over the coming days and weeks, the plan is to vaccinate around 3,000 Kroger associates, 4,400 Tom Thumb and Albertsons associates, and 1,000 Target associates in Dallas County. 

Laura Daniels, an employee with Kroger on Maple Avenue in Dallas, received her first Pfizer vaccine at the pharmacy inside the store.

"This is so important to me because I am a kidney dialysis person. I definitely have to get it done," she said.

At 58 years old, Daniels knows how severe the symptoms of COVID-19 can be. 

"I was in the ICU for three days, and then I was in the hospital for two weeks," said Daniels. "I want to be safe."

Kroger, Tom Thumb and Albertsons employees will receive a $100 cash incentive for getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

Other essential employees who do not work at one of those Dallas County locations can sign up for the vaccine through the City of Dallas, Parkland Hospital, UT Southwestern or Dallas County. People are encouraged to register on multiple lists.

Many other stores like Walmart, Walgreens and CVS already have their own plans to get employees vaccinated.

Wednesday will mark 250,000 vaccines given in Dallas County.