Thousands of vaccine doses are set to be administered at the Alamodome next week.
Thousands of vaccine doses are set to be administered at the Alamodome next week. Credit: Bonnie Arbittier / San Antonio Report

Mayor Ron Nirenberg said the City will not shutter its mass vaccination site at the Alamodome next week as a shipment of more than 10,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine will allow the site to stay in operation.

The Texas Department of State Health Services released its weekly allocation list for COVID-19 vaccine providers throughout the state, and the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District has an allotment of 10,530 first doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

The shipment has yet to arrive, and it’s unclear when it will, officials said, so scheduling for the vaccination appointments is not yet available. But a text will be sent to those who signed up to receive alerts from the City when registration opens. Text VACCINE or VACUNA to 55000 to sign up.

“If we get that shipment in on a weekly basis, then we’ll keep [the Alamodome] open for as long as we continue to have those vaccines,” Nirenberg said.

Gov. Greg Abbott said Thursday the state is expecting to accelerate the vaccine rollout in the coming weeks, as supply ratchets up. The increase in vaccine supply could mean more Texas residents will be made eligible to receive the shot, Abbott said. Though the governor was mum on details as to what that expansion would entail, he said the state will look to open up vaccinations to people beyond the groups in phases 1A and 1B.

Texas has deployed about 1,100 members of the Texas National Guard to vaccinate older people in rural or remote areas of the state in an effort to inoculate a majority of senior residents by the end of March.

The nation’s stock of vaccines will be buoyed by the expected authorization for emergency use of Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose coronavirus vaccine. Advisers to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Friday recommended the shot’s emergency approval. Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine, which boasts an efficacy rate of 72% (against moderate to severe COVID-19), can be stored at warmer temperatures than both the Moderna and Pfizer products, making for a simpler distribution.

Although the country has seen a steep decline in coronavirus infections after the haze of its post-holiday surge cleared, the situation remains volatile. Members of the White House’s COVID-19 Task Force said on Friday they’re concerned over a hike in cases in recent days and warned “now is not the time to relax restrictions.” Their statements come a day after Abbott said he is considering lifting the state’s restrictions, including its mask mandate.

Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff and Nirenberg sent a letter to the governor’s office urging him not to repeal the mask order.

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

  • 195,237 total cases, 501 new cases
  • 2,520 deaths, six new deaths
  • 461 in hospital, 9% beds available
  • 180 patients in intensive care
  • 100 patients on ventilators, 65% ventilators available
  • 227,980 residents vaccinated (at least one dose)
JJ Velasquez

JJ Velasquez

JJ Velasquez is a columnist at the San Antonio Report. A former reporter and editor at the SA Report, he currently works as a project manager for New York City-based Advance Local.