Texas Vista Medical Center employees prepare a coronavirus vaccine for patients.
After offering $100 worth of commissary goods as incentive, the Bexar County Sheriff's Office says about 500 more inmates have gotten vaccinated against coronavirus. Credit: Scott Ball / San Antonio Report

Bexar County vaccination sites are receiving more than 91,000 first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine this week, as the total number of vaccines distributed by the State of Texas reached a record at 2.5 million doses overall.

The local allocation was a nearly 80% increase on that of the previous week’s, which was just over 51,000.

Here’s where the doses are going:

Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff said on Monday, however, that University Health has yet to receive a 7,000-dose shipment of Johnson & Johnson vaccines.

This week’s allocation is a sign the vaccine supply is quickly expanding and that more residents who want a shot will soon be able to get one. But it remains a challenge to ensure vulnerable residents have a chance to get vaccinated as younger and healthier adults have become eligible.

On Monday, Mayor Ron Nirenberg said he’s optimistic the vaccines will keep pouring in.

“[The vaccine distribution process] has been fairly unpredictable,” Nirenberg said. “We do know that production has increased across all of the manufacturers, so I’m hopeful [vaccine allocations] will remain at that level, if not increase.”

This week’s supply comes on the heels of a new daily record being set in the United States for the number of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered. On Saturday, 4 million doses were administered throughout the U.S., bringing the seven-day average to 3 million shots given per day.

The increasing optimism surrounding the vaccine supply and distribution is perhaps the main reason residents are shedding their quarantine cocoons and taking more risks. As a reminder, fully vaccinated people should still wear masks and practice physical distancing in public.

Easter weekend may have resembled life before the pandemic for many folks, with public parks drawing families for cookouts and Easter egg hunts, and many area churches returning to full capacity.

The positivity rate remains low at 2.1%. It’s important for that metric to be consistently below 5%. That the positive test rate has been below that threshold for three consecutive weeks is a sign the risk of coronavirus transmission is low in Bexar County.

On Friday, the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District confirmed it was investigating two “breakthrough” cases of the coronavirus in Bexar County, meaning the individuals who tested positive for the coronavirus were at the point of full immunity from their vaccinations. Rita Espinoza, Metro Health’s chief of epidemiology, said Monday the two individuals contracted the virus about a month after receiving their second dose. Neither case resulted in severe illness, Espinoza said.

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.