More than 40,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses will arrive in Bexar County next week.
More than 40,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses will arrive in Bexar County the week of March 14-20. Credit: Scott Ball / San Antonio Report

Bexar County vaccine providers will receive 41,250 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine next week, the state announced Friday.

The statewide allotment for next week totals more than 800,000, the Department State Health Services said in a press release. It’s a decrease of about 200,000 doses from last week’s shipment, but the agency said allocations are expected to rise in the coming weeks with production of the Johnson & Johnson ramping up.

The San Antonio Chamber of Commerce has joined the chorus of community voices asking Gov. Greg Abbott for a greater proportion of vaccine doses than it has been receiving. In a March 5 letter, the chamber said vaccinating enough San Antonians is critical to the area’s recovery from the pandemic-caused economic downturn.

“Appointments at mass vaccination sites, including the Alamodome and University Health System, have continued to be filled within minutes, demonstrating the intense demand and need for COVID-19 vaccine,” the letter states.

Spring Break is almost here, and with the arrival of any mass-gathering-attracting holiday comes the fear of a coronavirus surge. But all of the previous holiday surges have come before a sizable portion of the population was vaccinated. In Bexar County, nearly 1 in 6 residents has received at least one dose of the vaccine.

Let’s hope that if spring breakers cause a wave of new virus cases, COVID-19 deaths and hospitalizations will be blunted by an increasing number of inoculations. New research from Israel, which has vaccinated about half of its adult population, shows Pfizer vaccinations have helped lessen the risk of even asymptomatic spread – to the tune of a 90% reduction in cases.

Mayor Ron Nirenberg and County Judge Nelson Wolff said they’re optimistic that spring break will not be as impactful as other social holidays have been in the past.

“The more that we can get people vaccinated, the better off we’re going to be,” Wolff said. “It’s been a very powerful tool for us.”

Soon the country hopes to be able to enjoy a semblance of normalcy, with President Joe Biden stating Thursday that if enough adults get vaccinated before July 4, small gatherings on the holiday will be safe.

The White House says it will double the number of mass vaccination centers in the country, including many with mobile units. In addition, 700 more community health centers have been invited to participate in the COVID-19 vaccine program. Current centers in San Antonio include El Centro del Barrio and Barrio Comprehensive Family Health Center.

The San Antonio Spurs are hosting their first fan-attended home game since the NBA shut down last season. New COVID-19 protocols at the AT&T Center include seating pods of two to four people, temperature checks at the entrance, and sanitation robots.

According to the governor, the state set a new record on Friday for COVID-19 vaccinations in a single day, as more than 270,000 Texans got the jab. More than 55% of the state’s seniors have been vaccinated, he said.

The 158 new cases of the coronavirus reported on Friday brought Bexar County’s seven-day average down to 168.

Three more residents have died from the disease, including two Hispanic men, one in his 40s and one in his 60s, and a white man in his 60s.

On the decline for several days, the local COVID-19 patient count fell to 237 on Friday.

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

  • 199,589 total cases, 158 new cases
  • 2,864 deaths, three new deaths
  • 237 in hospital, 11% available
  • 97 patients in intensive care
  • 61 patients on ventilators, 70% ventilators available
  • 319,011 residents vaccinated (at least one dose)
JJ Velasquez

JJ Velasquez

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