Blue Skies of Texas is among the first of long term care facilities in San Antonio to begin wide distribution of the Pfizer vaccine to its residents and employees. Photos taken on December 30, 2020.
A Walgreens pharmacist prepares a Pfizer vaccine before administering it to residents and employees of Blue Skies of Texas. Credit: Bonnie Arbittier / San Antonio Report

This blog post has been updated.

The University Health System is completely booked after announcing on Thursday that it would begin offering free Moderna-produced COVID-19 vaccinations by appointment to the next group of prioritized residents: adults who are chronically ill or 65 or older.

People who meet these criteria, known officially as tier 1B, are in the second group the state has instructed health care providers to prioritize as COVID-19 vaccines continue to be shipped weekly.

But at about 9 p.m. Thursday, appointments were no longer available. The University Health System’s web page was updated with the following statement: “Due to an overwhelming response, we currently have no more appointments available. We will open up more slots as soon as we get more vaccine and let you know through our social media and local news outlets. Please continue to stay safe.”

As of Tuesday, more than 31,000 Bexar County residents – largely frontline health care workers – have been inoculated. The county has 145,000 residents that meet the qualifications of tier 1A: health care workers who deal directly with COVID-19 patients and residents of long-term care facilities such as nursing homes.

Seniors ages 65 and older and adults with underlying health conditions that make them at risk of severe illness from COVID-19 were able to schedule an appointment to be vaccinated at Inoculations will take place at the Wonderland of the Americas, 4522 Fredericksburg Road, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday for as long as the vaccine is available, according to a University Health press release.

University Health is aiming to vaccinate 1,000 people a day at that location, according to the release.

People who get vaccinated can schedule their second shot after the first is given. The two doses are to be taken 28 days apart.

Residents age 16 or 17 with chronic health conditions can call 210-644-1960 to schedule an appointment to receive the Pfizer-made vaccine at another location.

The San Antonio Metropolitan Health District will not release new COVID-19 data on Thursday and Friday. Mayor Ron Nirenberg and County Judge Nelson Wolff also will not deliver their nightly briefing on those days.

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