This article was last updated on May 11.

COVID-19 vaccine doses continue to make their way across the state and into arms. DSHS data shows more than 11.4 million Texans have received at least one vaccine dose, and over 8.7 million have been fully vaccinated.

Earlier this week the Food and Drug Administration expanded the emergency use authorization for the Pfizer vaccine to include adolescents 12 through 15 years of age. Teens who are 16 or 17 are eligible for a Pfizer vaccination with parent permission.

All adults in the state of Texas have been eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine since late March. Adults qualify as anyone over the age of 18. Many local health providers are now allowing walk-up appointments as well.

A halt on the Johnson & Johnson one-dose vaccine last month caused some to worry about distribution supply, however San Antonio has officially reached the point where supply is outweighing demand. In response to this slow down, the City and private providers have launched campaigns to encourage demand and to sent mobile vaccination clinics out into the community where they are most needed.

The halt on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine was lifted earlier this month and distribution of the company’s one-dose vaccine has resumed. Local immunization experts hope the Johnson & Johnson vaccine can help get more people in lower-access areas become fully vaccinated as the U.S. strives toward herd immunity.

While almost 40% of Bexar County residents have gotten vaccinated, experts predict herd immunity will require 70-90% of the population to get inoculated. Local health officials are still requesting San Antonio residents wear a mask and practice social distancing, despite Gov. Greg Abbott’s announcement last month that the statewide mask mandate has been lifted.

Prior to the Texas DSHS announcement in March, those eligible for the vaccine in Texas were residents in the 1A, 1B, and 1C groups, which included frontline health care workers, adults 50 and older, teachers and educators, seniors living in long-term care facilities, and anyone with a chronic illness.

Earlier this year President Joe Biden announced the rapid expansion of the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program. His aim is to make vaccines accessible within 5 miles to about 90% of Americans.

Pharmacies participating in Texas include Costco, CVS, H-E-B, Kroger, Walgreens, Walmart, CommuniCare, and select independent pharmacies. Details about these doses are available here.

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. 

The DHSH announced all adults are eligible for a COVID-19 vaccination as of March 29. Adults qualify as anyone over the age of 18.

A parent must make the arrangements for the vaccination of children ages 12-17, who can receive Pfizer’s vaccine but not the vaccine manufactured by Moderna or Johnson & Johnson. Previously the Pfizer vaccine was only available to teenagers 16 and 17. The FDA expanded its emergency authorization use to include adolescents 12-15 on May 10.

The DSHS is still directing vaccine providers to prioritize people who are 80 years or older when scheduling appointments and has asked providers to allow anyone in this age group who comes in for a vaccination to move to the front of the line, whether they have an appointment or not.

How can I get a vaccine?

Vaccine supply is now exceeding demand locally, with San Antonio health officials launching campaigns to reduce vaccine hesitancy and to reach lower-access areas.

If you are a Texas adult, 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 or educator, 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 vaccine appointments are available. UHS administered its 100,000th vaccine shot last month. People 18 years of age and older may come to the Wonderland of the Americas COVID-19 Vaccination Center or St. Philip’s College to receive the vaccine without an appointment. Those eligible for a Pfizer vaccine under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Check for available slots here.
  • Christus Santa Rosa: Vaccinations are by online 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.” Christus is not accepting appointment requests by phone or in person at this time.
  • H-E-B: The locally based grocery store was recently named as one of the recipients for the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program. Most H-E-B stores are administering vaccine doses. Many are now accepting walk-in Check for participating locations and available vaccine slots here.
  • Baptist Health: Baptist Health “is pleased to be able to offer the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to the general public,” Tenet Spokeswoman Natalie Gutierrez told the San Antonio Report. “As the COVID virus continues to pose a health risk, we encourage those who have not received the vaccine to visit our website for information and appointment availability,” Baptist said in an official statement. Baptist is accepting online appointment signups on its website.
  • Methodist Healthcare: Methodist Healthcare is now administering vaccine doses to the general public, according to its website. The vaccine is available to all who are eligible in Texas. To book an appointment, click here.
  • UT HealthUT Health San Antonio is offering COVID-19 vaccines to eligible members of the community. As of May 10, the system is is transitioning its vaccinations to its Medical Arts and Research Center at 8300 Floyd Curl Drive, as well as to its clinics across Bexar County. Appointment availability and walk-up hours are updated daily. Visit UT Health San Antonio’s COVID-19 vaccine scheduling website to check appointment availability and schedule an appointment.
  • The City of San Antonio: City officials announced in January that the Alamodome will serve as a mass COVID-19 vaccination site. Just minutes after registration first opened, all 9,000 initial appointment slots for the first week were filled. Walk-up and drive-through appointments are now being accepted. Pre-registered appointments at the Alamodome can be made by visiting covid19.sanantonio.gov/vaccine or calling 311 and selecting option 8.
  • WellMed: WellMed has two vaccination clinics, located at the Elvira Cisneros Senior Community Activity Center and the Alicia Trevino Lopez Senior One-Stop Center. Appointments are booked by calling 1-833-968-1745 when registration is available. 
  • CommuniCare Health Centers: CommuniCare Health Centers qualified for the federal Health Resources and Services Administration’s Health Center COVID-19 Vaccine Program. Its vaccine doses are only for current CommuniCare Health Center patients. CommuniCare currently does not have the COVID-19 vaccine readily available for the public, however it plans to soon according to the CommuniCare website.
  • Other: The following locations have received vaccine doses from the state or federal government, according to allocation records. Contact the sites directly for potential scheduling information:
    • 15RX Pharmacy-2
    • Alivio Health and Wellness
    • Arthur S. Hernandez, MD
    • Babcock Health and Wellness Clinic
    • Bandera Apothecary
    • Bandera Family Health
    • BMA Alamo City
    • Broadway Kidney Disease Center
    • Caritas Family Medicine
    • Carvajal Pharmacy
    • Castle Hills Family Practice
    • CentroMed select locations
    • Conviva Guadalupe
    • Conviva Legacy Place
    • Conviva Live Oak
    • CommuniCare select locations
    • Cumberland Surgical Hospital
    • CVS select locations
    • Davila Pharmacy
    • Direct Care of Texas
    • DMS Pharmacy
    • Endeavor Clinical Trials
    • Express Pharmacy
    • Foundation Surgical Hospital Of San Antonio 
    • Fresenius Medical Care San Antonio
    • Gonzaba Medica Group Main Clinic – accepting walk-in patients
    • Gonzaba Medical Group Woodlawn Clinic – accepting walk-in patients
    • Good Life Pharmacy
    • Gruesbeck Medical Clinic
    • Guilding Light Hospice Inc
    • H-E-B select locations
    • Health by Design
    • Healthsouth Riosa Rehabilitation Hospital Pharmacy
    • HealthTexas Medical Group HQ
    • Holy Savior Hospice and Palliative Care
    • Hormazd Sanjana, MD
    • Kindred Hospital San Antonio 
    • John S. Garcia, MD
    • Laurel Ridge Treatment Center
    • Legends Pharmacy 
    • Lifecare Garza Pharmacy
    • Little Spurs Pediatric Urgent Care
    • Lockehill Kidney Disease Clinic
    • Lung Diagnostics 
    • Magenta Health
    • Marathon Petroleum HS
    • MedCare Plus Pharmacy
    • Medly Pharmacy
    • Med Security Inc.
    • Mission Trail Baptist Hospital
    • MLDP of Texas
    • Nextdoor Pharmacy
    • Northeast Pediatric Association
    • Oakdell Pharmacy
    • Ortiz Pharmacy, Inc.
    • Pharmacy Plus
    • Post Acute Medical Specialty Hospital San Antonio South
    • Private Physician Services of San Antonio
    • Quality Urgent Care
    • Quality Urgent Care Of America
    • Renue Rx #5
    • SAFD Office of Medical Director
    • Sage Medicine 
    • SAMHD Iz Outreach
    • SAMHD Main Immunizations Clinic
    • San Antonio Arthritis Care Centers
    • San Antonio Behavioral Healthcare Hospital
    • San Antonio State Hospital
    • San Antonio State Supported Living Center
    • Schnitzler Cardiovascular Consultants
    • ShurMed Emergency Medical Service
    • Smart Pharmacy
    • South San Medical Building Pharmacy
    • South Texas Allergy and Asthma Medical Profession 
    • South Texas Spine and Surgical Hospital
    • Southside Kidney Disease Clinic
    • Southtown Clinic PC
    • Southwest Children’s Center
    • Southwest General Hospital
    • Southwest Research Institute
    • St. Lazarus Family Practice
    • St. Lukes Baptist. Hospital
    • Start Center For Cancer Care 
    • Steven A. Davis, MD
    • Stone Oak Family Doctors
    • Surgical Arts Center
    • Texas Center for Infectious Disease
    • Texas Department of Criminal Justice – Dominguez
    • Texas Dermatology Institute
    • Texas MedClinic
    • The Emergency Clinic at the Pearl
    • The San Antonio Orthopedic Group 
    • The University of Texas at San Antonio
    • Trinity University Student Health Services
    • UHS select locations
    • University Of Texas Medicine
    • University Of Texas Medicine Hill Country
    • University Of The Incarnate Word
    • University Of The Incarnate Word Health Services
    • UT Health San Antonio Verde Hills
    • Valero Family Wellness Center – Health by Design
    • Vivir With Salud
    • Walgreens select locations
    • WalMart select locations
    • Warm Springs Rehabilitation Hospital of San Antonio
    • Warm Springs Specialty Hospital of Thousand Oaks
    • WellMed at Southwest Military
    • WellMed Ingram
    • Wellmed General McMullen
    • Wellness 360
    • Westover Hills Family Health
    • Zarzamora Healthcare LLC
    • Zikam Neighborhood Pharmacy

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. Johnson & Johnson offers a one-dose vaccine, however it is still on hold following a halt on the vaccine earlier this month.

The state directed providers in January 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 a press briefing in mid-February.

“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.

Lindsey Carnett

Lindsey Carnett is the general assignment reporter for the San Antonio Report.