A volunteer let's residents know when theyir 15 minute wait time is up after they receive their vaccine at the Fiesta-themed COVID-19 Vaccine Drive in partnership with WellMed and Carvajal Pharmacy.
A volunteer lets residents know when their 15-minute wait time is up after they received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at a Fiesta-themed vaccination event May 22. Credit: Bria Woods / San Antonio Report

If you and four other friends or family members haven’t gotten the coronavirus vaccine yet, you now can order a mobile clinic to your home to get the shot.

Gov. Greg Abbott announced earlier this week the expansion of the State Mobile Vaccine Program to include groups of five or more Texans who want to be vaccinated. All you have to do is call 844-90-TEXAS and select Option 3 to schedule an appointment.

“Homebound Texans are encouraged to call that hotline and select Option 1 to request a state mobile vaccination team to visit their home,” Bexar County Commissioner Tommy Calvert (Pct. 4) said during Thursday’s evening coronavirus briefing.

Calvert, who himself contracted the coronavirus in January, urged residents to get vaccinated as soon as possible.

“I know there’s still uncertainty for some people when it comes to the vaccine, but this disease is scary,” he said. “My family and I have received our vaccines and I want you to get one too. Realizing that there are many uncertain risks in life – we face risk every time we drive our car or allow our child to ride their bike down the streets. Each day is filled with risk, but the threat of COVID is still out there.”

On Thursday, University Health also began offering the option of Pfizer or Johnson & Johnson at its Wonderland of the Americas vaccination site. Johnson & Johnson is only available to people 18 and older, while those 12 and older can receive the Pfizer vaccine.

Mayor Ron Nirenberg said there were still “thousands” of free Six Flags Fiesta Texas tickets remaining to be claimed by people who get the vaccine at one of the city’s sites. Those sites include the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District’s drive-thru clinic at the Alamodome, as well as University Health, UT Health San Antonio, the University of the Incarnate Word, WellMed, the San Antonio Fire Department, Bexar County Health Collaborative, and Curative.

Metro Health Assistant Director Anita Kurian also joined Thursday’s news briefing to assure residents that the coronavirus vaccine is safe for people with food allergies; health officials have been fielding many of those questions, Nirenberg said.

“You still can get your COVID-19 vaccine, even if you’re allergic to [eggs], shellfish, or nuts,” Kurian said. “You absolutely can get the COVID-19 vaccine even if you’ve had reactions to flu vaccines in the past.”

As of Thursday, 1,035,614 people have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine. As more of Bexar County gets vaccinated, VIA Metropolitan Transit announced it will lift its passenger limits on its buses and vans beginning June 1, bringing vehicles back to full capacity. Riders will still be required to wear masks as part of a federal government mandate.

“We’re thankful to everyone who continued to make essential trips throughout the past year and are ready to welcome back all those who followed local guidelines and restricted their trips during the height of the pandemic,” VIA President and CEO Jeff Arndt said in a statement. “We’re able to take this step toward recovery for VIA and the community we serve because our customers and employees did their part to keep San Antonio moving safely.”

Even as the number of vaccinated people increase in Bexar County and many resume pre-pandemic activities, the toll on local residents hasn’t been forgotten. On Thursday, Metro Health unveiled a memorial downtown at Hemisfair to honor those who have died from COVID-19, a number that rose to 3,457 as three new deaths were announced.

Here are the local coronavirus numbers as of Thursday:

  • 222,760 total cases, 174 new cases
  • 3,457 deaths, three new deaths
  • 135 in hospital
  • 47 patients in intensive care
  • 25 patients on ventilators
  • 804,762 residents fully vaccinated

Jackie Wang

Jackie Wang is the local government reporter at the San Antonio Report.