A box that says "Moderna" sits outside of the Alamodome.
A box that says "Moderna" sits outside of the Alamodome. Credit: Bonnie Arbittier / San Antonio Report

The City of San Antonio is making 30,000 vaccine appointments available to the eligible public Thursday night. It’s the last signup opportunity for folks in the state’s vaccine priority groups to book a vaccination at the Alamodome before eligibility restrictions are lifted on Monday.

Some of the 30,000 first-dose appointments for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine will be made available online starting at 7 p.m. Thursday while some will be reserved for people without internet access who can call the local 311 COVID hotline to book their appointment. That hotline is available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays and 8 a.m. to noon on the weekend.

The appointments will take place from April 6 to May 1. Appointments for next week are already booked.

The City’s announcement comes just a day after the state announced it was expanding vaccine eligibility to all adults age 16 or older. In case you’re wondering why age 16 specifically, the Johnson & Johnson and Moderna trials included participants ages 18 and older; Pfizer’s included 16- and 17-year-olds and is the only vaccine available to people in that age range. A COVID-19 vaccine for children under 16 has not been approved for use in the United States.

Eligibility is being expanded in part because the state anticipated an increase in vaccine supply over the coming weeks, but San Antonio officials said Wednesday they have not received any confirmation of an impending rise in doses for local vaccine providers.

With the 30,000 doses spread out over three weeks, the local allocation from the state will remain steady at about 10,000 doses per week, though a supply boost could come from direct federal allotments. The state announces weekly allocations every Friday, so that is something to keep an eye on.

Mayor Ron Nirenberg was asked during Wednesday’s COVID-19 briefing whether the March 10 statewide order rescinding a mask mandate that had been in place for much of the pandemic has had any effect. The numbers have been decreasing, Nirenberg said, but it’s still too early to tell whether and what kind of effect spring break will have on the local case rate.

Meanwhile, as the local COVID-19 patient census has gradually decreased, some hospitals have closed down their COVID-19 units, said Anita Kurian, the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District’s assistant director. Contract nurses have also been released as the outbreak has lessened.

But COVID-19 rates are increasing throughout the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

With 132 new cases of the coronavirus reported in Bexar County on Wednesday, the seven-day average stood at 160. No deaths were reported, and one more patient was receiving treatment for COVID-19 than on Tuesday. More than 15.4% of Bexar County residents old enough to get the shot have been fully vaccinated.

Here are the local coronavirus numbers as of 7 p.m. Wednesday:

  • 202,981 total cases, 132 new cases
  • 3,073 deaths, no new deaths
  • 183 in hospital
  • 63 patients in intensive care
  • 37 patients on ventilators
  • 239,595 residents fully vaccinated

JJ Velasquez was a columnist, former editor and reporter at the San Antonio Report.