The South Texas Veterans Health Care System partnered with Texas A&M University-San Antonio to hold a COVID-19 vaccination clinic between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021 on the Texas A&M University-San Antonio campus.
South Texas Veterans Health Care System RN Jennifer Gomez (left) administers a COVID-19 vaccine to veteran Marcelo Quintero. Credit: Bonnie Arbittier / San Antonio Report

The City of San Antonio on Sunday opened online registration for COVID-19 vaccination appointments at the Alamodome, and within minutes all available doses were spoken for.

It was the first time appointments were opened in weeks, as the City had only administered second doses of the vaccine since February.

Many on social media reported not being able to sign up for an appointment slot in time. Colleen Bridger, assistant city manager and leader of the City’s COVID-19 response, said on Monday that about 7,000 of the total 10,000 available appointments were made online. Bridger said the City is reserving the other 3,000 doses for residents older than 65 who do not have access to the internet.

“People who did not have the opportunity to get an appointment online can call 311,” Bridger said. “We have a limited number of appointments that we’re really trying to keep for our senior citizens.”

She said Bexar County residents age 65 or older make up a third of the people in the county who have been vaccinated.

With a new single-shot vaccine produced by Johnson & Johnson approved for emergency use, an allotment of 200,000 doses of the newly approved shot is headed for Texas next week, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services. The Federal Emergency Management Agency has already sent doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to its three vaccination supersites in the Dallas and Houston areas.

“It’s going to be a tremendous improvement,” Bridger said of the new vaccine. “When you have to vaccinate a person twice, it takes twice as long to get them fully vaccinated. If we can switch to at least using some of the [Johnson & Johnson] vaccine to vaccinate folks, then we only have to do it one time. It’ll go twice as fast.”

The 200,000-dose allotment next week will bolster the already 560,000 doses of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines the state is being allocated weekly. The U.S. set a record over the weekend for most daily vaccinations with 2.4 million inoculations administered on Sunday.

The rate of positive coronavirus tests among Bexar County residents has declined for the sixth week in a row, falling nearly 2 percentage points from the previous week to 5.6%. Mayor Ron Nirenberg said San Antonio has the lowest positivity rate of the major metropolitan areas in the state.

“We’re thankful for that,” he said.

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

  • 196,816 total cases, 288 new cases
  • 2,670 deaths, no new deaths
  • 464 in hospital, 8% beds available
  • 199 patients in intensive care
  • 110 patients on ventilators, 64% ventilators available
  • 242,406 residents vaccinated (at least one dose)
JJ Velasquez

JJ Velasquez

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