UT Health San Antonio’s clinical practice was designated a major COVID-19 vaccine hub Thursday by the Texas Department of State Health Services, UT Health said in a statement

UT Health San Antonio will be able to expedite the vaccination of its sickest and most vulnerable patients in its multispecialty practice, Executive Director of Media Communications Will Sansom said.

UT Health is not currently designated for vaccination of the general population, but it is positioned to ease the burden on the three other local vaccine hubs that are.

“We are expecting currently up to 5,850 doses of Pfizer vaccine a week to help serve San Antonio’s population,” Sansom said. “This is good news for our city as supply is our most troublesome issue.”

For the past few weeks, San Antonio Metropolitan Health District has been administering vaccines at the Alamodome, WellMed has been doing so out of the Elvira Cisneros Senior Community Activity Center and the Alicia Trevino Lopez Senior One-Stop Center, and University Health has been vaccinating people at Wonderland of the Americas mall.

Those currently eligible for the vaccine in San Antonio include those in Phase 1A, which includes frontline workers and long-term care residents, and those in Phase 1B – people 65 and older and those 16 or older with a chronic medical condition that puts them at increased risk for severe illness from COVID‑19 who have parent permission.

UT Health San Antonio has been tasked by the state with vaccinating 120,000 of its patients who are in Phase 1B, Sansom said. Those eligible based on availability and the state requirements will be notified through the system’s MyChart app, which gives them access to their electronic medical records, he added.

To make an appointment through Metro Health for a vaccination at the Alamodome, visit covid19.sanantonio.gov/vaccine or call 311 and select option 8. A busy signal indicates that all operators are taking other calls, and callers should try again.

The appointment reservation hotline operated by WellMed, 833-968-1745, will reopen at 8 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 30, for appointments beginning Feb. 1. The hotline will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily until appointments are filled.

Appointments with University Health, when available, can be arranged at wecandoitsa.com.

While UT Health’s designation could ensure more vaccine doses will be coming to San Antonio, Councilmen John Courage (D9) and Clayton Perry (D10), whose districts make up much of the city’s North Side, expressed concern last week about lack of access to vaccination sites for Northside residents.

“I think that right now, all the centers that we have set up are in the southern half of the city and people living in the northern half of the city are feeling like we’re not given the consideration,” Courage said during a Jan. 14 City Council briefing.

City Manager Erik Walsh reminded Council members that all of the Metro Health, WellMed, and University Health vaccination sites are open to any San Antonio residents, regardless of where they live, as mandated by the state.

For more information on the safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccines, read the San Antonio Report’s Q&A with local physicians here.

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Lindsey Carnett

Lindsey Carnett covers the environment, science and utilities for the San Antonio Report.