COVID-19 shots are offered at the Alamodome from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays.
COVID-19 shots are offered at the Alamodome from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. Credit: Nick Wagner / San Antonio Report

If you’ve been putting off getting your COVID-19 shot and don’t like waiting in line, now is the time to get vaccinated, Mayor Ron Nirenberg said Thursday.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is expected to make adolescents ages 12 to 15 eligible for Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine as soon as next week, and that will mean a summer rush for tweens and teens to get vaccinated before the next school year.

“Please go get yours as quickly as you possibly can,” Nirenberg said during Thursday’s COVID-19 briefing.

With COVID-19 vaccine supply exceeding demand, the State has announced it is no longer allocating vaccines to providers on a weekly basis. Instead, providers will be responsible for ordering doses each week.

“This is a big step in vaccine distribution,” said Imelda Garcia, DSHS associate commissioner for laboratory and infectious disease services. “The ability to ship vaccine to pharmacies, doctors’ offices, and other providers as they need it will go a long way to making sure it is available when and where Texans want to be vaccinated.”

Ample vaccine stock means no wait times and no appointments at many of the sites providing vaccinations in San Antonio.

Metropolitan Health District officials said Thursday that traffic through the city’s mass vaccination clinic at the Alamodome remains steady as the site has shifted to offering walk-up shots. Rita Espinoza, Metro Health’s chief of epidemiology, said between 2,000 and 2,500 people are being vaccinated every day at the facility.

Although the City will continue to evaluate whether the site is needed, it will remain open for the foreseeable future, Nirenberg said. If demand drops off, operating hours may need to be staggered. But he said the City as well as the other local mass vaccination providers – University Health, UT Health San Antonio, and WellMed – will work to ensure a mass vaccination site is always available for the community.

Nirenberg wants the vaccination rate, which is approaching 62% for Bexar County residents who have had at least one dose, to continue to climb as gatherings such as next month’s postponed (and pandemic-modified) Fiesta nears. With a coronavirus positivity rate under 3% for the past two months and more people inoculated, San Antonio is doing everything in its power to end the pandemic, he said.

“We want to make sure that we continue to do that as we enjoy the events that we’ve been waiting for,” he 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.