This article was last updated on Jan. 15.
Under state guidelines for distribution, about 60 percent of San Antonians are now eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine, but supply is not yet equal to the demand.
Doses of the vaccine began arriving in San Antonio in late December, bringing hope to many health care workers on the front lines of the pandemic.
The state’s limited supply is currently reserved for frontline health care workers and specific high-risk populations, with officials anticipating rollout for the general public sometime in the spring of 2021.
Here are common questions eligible San Antonians are asking on how to get their doses of the vaccine:
Who is allowed to get a vaccine?
Charged with deciding who gets the vaccine and when in Texas, the state’s Department of State Health Services created the Expert Vaccine Allocation Panel.
Phase 1A consists of frontline health care workers and residents of long-term care facilities. Phase 1B refers to anyone age 65 or older and/or 16 years of age or older with at least one chronic medical condition that puts them at increased risk to serious illness from COVID-19. Such conditions include, but are not limited to, cancer, kidney disease, COPD, heart conditions, obesity, pregnancy, sickle cell disease, or Type 2 diabetes.
A parent must make the arrangements for the vaccination of Phase 1B teens ages 16 or 17, who can receive Pfizer’s vaccine but not the vaccine manufactured by Moderna.
How can I get a vaccine?
Vaccine supply remains limited, but more doses are being delivered to providers in San Antonio each week from DSHS.
If you are eligible under Phase 1A or Phase 1B, visit the Texas COVID-19 Vaccine Provider Locations map to find local sites administering the vaccine. Check the provider’s website for information about vaccine availability, or call the provider if its website doesn’t answer your questions.
If you are a health care worker, the DSHS recommends contacting your employer. If you are a long-term care resident, it recommends contacting your caretaker.
Where do I go to get vaccinated in San Antonio?
- University Health: University Health system will not able to open Phase 1B scheduling this upcoming week due to the quantity of vaccine doses it will receive relative to the high demand, the provider said in a statement Friday. University Health opened registration for appointments for residents in Phase 1B earlier this month and filled 17,280 slots in about five hours. The hospital system began administering those at the start of January and aimed to vaccinate 1,000 people per day. According to the hospital’s website, University Health will open up additional appointment slots as people do not show up or cancel,” so that “no vaccine goes to waste.” Check for available slots here.
- Christus Santa Rosa: Christus began administering vaccine doses earlier this month to patients who fit into Phase 1B. Vaccinations are by appointment only at this time. You can look for available appointments by visiting the Christus website here and speaking over an instant messaging system with Christus’ virtual assistant “Christy.”
- H-E-B: The locally based grocery store chain has requested another allocation of doses from the state, according to its website. H-E-B’s initial allocation has either already been exhausted or is scheduled to be administered. H-E-B did not receive anymore vaccine for the week of Jan. 11. The grocer is awaiting more doses to continue to vaccinate health care providers as well as begin offering vaccinations to Texans in Phase 1B. “Once we have supply, we will activate a scheduler tool on our website so people can schedule an appointment,” H-E-B stated.
- Baptist Health: Baptist Health is still working through vaccinating its staff in Phase 1A. The health care system expects to announce plans for Phase 1B in upcoming weeks, Director of Communications Patti Tanner said.
- Methodist Healthcare: Methodist Healthcare is working on administering the vaccine to over 12,000 Methodist Healthcare staff members and providers, said Cheri Love-Moceri, director of corporate communications. Methodist Healthcare will begin offering vaccine doses to health care workers in the broader community shortly, such as staff members in nursing homes, nursing students, EMS providers, and others in Phase 1A who have not yet had the opportunity to be vaccinated. It also will begin the vaccination of patients in its facilities who fit the criteria provided by the Department of State Health Services, Love-Moceri said.
- UT Health: UT Health San Antonio began vaccinating its own faculty and staff under Phase 1A in December, said Will Sansom, executive director of media communications. Phase 1A vaccinations continue, with many receiving their second doses. UT Health San Antonio is vaccinating only its Phase 1B patients, beginning with its primary care and geriatric care center patients, Sansom said. Other UT Health San Antonio patients will be notified through the system’s MyChart app when they are eligible to receive the vaccine based on risk prioritization.
- The City of San Antonio: City officials announced earlier this month that the Alamodome will serve as a mass COVID-19 vaccination site for anyone in Phases 1A and 1B. Just minutes after registration opened, all 9,000 initial appointment slots for the first week were filled. An additional 9,000 appointments were made available Friday and will be opening on a rolling basis. Appointments for the Alamodome can be made by visiting covid19.sanantonio.gov/vaccine or calling 311 and selecting option eight.
- WellMed: WellMed received and distributed its initial 9,000 vaccinations last week at its two mass vaccination hubs, located at the Elvira Cisneros Senior Community Activity Center and the Alicia Trevino Lopez Senior One-Stop Center. The clinic announced Friday it will open an additional 9,000 slots for next week. Appointments can be booked by calling 1-833-968-1745. Due to high volume of phone calls, callers who cannot get through to a WellMed customer service representative should keep calling back. WellMed has experienced some technical difficulties over the past few days due to a flood of calls.
- Other: The following locations have received vaccine doses from the state according to allocation records. Contact the sites directly for potential scheduling information:
- 15RX Pharmacy-2
- Bandera Family Health
- Caritas Family Medicine
- Davila Pharmacy
- Endeavor Clinical Trials
- Foundation Surgical Hospital Of San Antonio
- Gonzaba Medical Group Woodlawn Clinic
- Gruesbeck Medical Clinic
- Kindred Hospital San Antonio
- Legends Pharmacy
- Lung Diagnostics
- Magenta Health
- Mission Trail Baptist Hospital
- Northeast Pediatric Association
- Quality Urgent Care
- Quality Urgent Care Of America
- Sage Medicine
- SAMHD Main Immunizations Clinic
- San Antonio Arthritis Care Centers
- San Antonio State Hospital
- ShurMed Emergency Medical Service
- South Texas Allergy and Asthma Medical Profession
- Southwest General Hospital
- Start Center For Cancer Care
- University Of Texas Medicine
- Stone Oak Family Doctors
- Surgical Arts Center
- Texas MedClinic
- The Emergency Clinic at the Pearl
- The San Antonio Orthopaedic Group
- University Of Texas Medicine Hill Country
- The University of Texas at San Antonio
- Walgreens Pharmacy 15461
- WellMed Management
- Westover Hills Family Health
Who’s getting the vaccine next and when?
According to the DSHS website, the Expert Vaccine Allocation Panel is determining what criteria to use for later stages of vaccine distribution.
“Spring 2021 is the best estimate of when the vaccine will be available for the general public, but that may change,” the state website states. “It depends on vaccine production and how quickly other vaccines become available.
Will there be enough vaccine for me to get both doses?
The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are both done in a two-dose series, set a couple of weeks apart.
The state directed providers on Wednesday to use all allocated doses to administer the first vaccine dose to Texans. They have been told there is no need to reserve shots for a second dose because they will get a matching number of doses for that at the appropriate time.
If I made an appointment but have an active COVID-19 infection, can I still come in to get the vaccine?
City officials are asking San Antonians who are actively infected with COVID-19 not to get the vaccine for now.
Getting the vaccine while infected would be “a waste of a shot,” Bridger said during the City’s Thursday night briefing.
“Someone with an active infection is developing the antibodies,” Bridger said. “The same reaction we’re triggering in the vaccination process, your body is already doing because you are infected. So, if you do not feel well, please do not come for your vaccination.”
However, the CDC recommends vaccinations against COVID-19 for anyone who has had the virus in the past because it is unknown how long natural antibodies are effective. Doctors are recommending waiting 90 days after infection before getting the vaccine.
Do you have more questions about the safety and efficacy of the vaccine? Check out the San Antonio Report’s Q&A with local medical professionals here.