All 9,000 appointments for the COVID-19 vaccine have been filled at the Elvira Cisneros Senior Community Center and the Alicia Treviño López Senior Center, city officials said Wednesday morning.

Councilwomen Rebecca Viagran (D3), Adriana Rocha Garcia (D4), and Ana Sandoval (D7) issued a joint statement about the slots for people currently eligible for vaccinations this week.

“We would like to thank everyone for their patience and understanding,” they stated. “We will continue to open more slots as the state provides us with more vaccines. We are committed to improving the intake process. We know this has not been easy.”

The last of the 9,000 spots was booked just before 9 a.m. Wednesday, said Dan Calderón, vice president of communications and digital media at WellMed Medical Management. Calderón said the clinics experienced issues with the phone lines Tuesday afternoon and evening due to a flood of calls. 

Many San Antonio residents calling in to book an appointment Tuesday were confused when they called the scheduling line at 1-833-968-1745 and received either a busy tone or a message stating all slots had been filled, despite there being about 800 spots still available around 5 p.m.

“The recorded message is wrong; there were still 800 appointments available as of 5 p.m. They are working on having CareNet, the hotline operator, change the inaccurate on-hold message,” Mike Bergin, WellMed’s medical management director of communications and digital experience, told the San Antonio Report Tuesday evening. 

Callers also may have heard a message from their phone carrier that the line was not in service, which also was incorrect. 

“All of this is a result of a hotline stretched beyond capacity by a high volume of calls,” Bergin said. “It’s clunky. We’re doing the best we can, and we just ask for [people’s] patience.” 

With all appointments filled, any callers on Wednesday will get the message that the slots are indeed filled, Calderón said. He added WellMed is working with CareNet to resolve any phone line issues once the two WellMed vaccination hubs receive more vaccine doses next week. 

“We are optimistic,” Calderón said about the timeline for getting more doses.

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Lindsey Carnett

Lindsey Carnett covers the environment, science and utilities for the San Antonio Report.