I had an 86 year old patient show up at Wonderland Mall yesterday at 6:30 PM and get vaccinated for Covid 19. She did NOT have an appointment. At the end of the day, literally, they are not going to waste vaccine.
Her is a helpful synopsis of local vaccine information which is usually on the second page of the Express News.
Now that more Texans can receive the coronavirus vaccine, here’s what you need to know.
VACCINE TRACKER: Monitoring how much of the state has been vaccinated
Who can get it now?
The people eligible now include first responders, those living or working in nursing homes, everyone older than 65 and those 16 or older with chronic health conditions such as diabetes and obesity.
Group 1A: Includes health care workers in hospital settings working directly with COVID-19 or high-risk patients, long-term-care staff and residents, EMS providers, home health care workers.
Group 1B: Anyone 65 years and older, pregnant women and anyone over the age of 16 with a pre-existing condition. These include cancer, heart issues such as heart failure or coronary artery disease, chronic kidney disease, solid organ transplant, obesity or severe obesity, sickle cell disease or Type 2 diabetes mellitus.
If I qualify, where can I get it?
People in group 1B need to make an appointment with a provider, which include medical facilities, pharmacies and hospitals. Providers are listed on this map provided by the Department of State Health Services.
Don’t assume a provider has doses of vaccine just because it’s listed on the map. Call ahead to make sure.
VIA Metropolitan Transit offers free rides to or from an appointment at a city- or county-sponsored COVID-19 vaccination site, such as the Alamodome or Wonderland of the Americas mall. Bus or VIA Link passengers can show their appointment registration (on paper or mobile device) or their shot record. Riders using the VIAtrans service must schedule in advance by phone or online.
This section will be updated as information is released by area providers.
WellMed: Has received 9,000 more doses of the Moderna vaccine. Appointments are required — walk-ins are not accepted. Will reopen phone lines at 8 a.m. Saturday to begin making appointments for next week — the number is 1-833-968-1745. Calls accepted from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily until all 9,000 appointments are filled. The shots will be given at Elvira Cisneros Senior Community Activity Center, 517 S.W. Military Drive, and Alicia Treviño López Senior One-Stop Center, 8335 Culebra Road. Callers who cannot get through are urged to keep trying. If callers get cut off after reaching a recorded greeting, it means all operators are on calls. Since Jan. 9, WellMed’s vaccine phone line has received nearly 8 million calls.
South Texas Veterans Health Care System: The VA is offering COVID vaccines to enrolled veterans (but not family or caregivers) on Saturdays only. No appointment needed. Vaccines will be offered to enrolled veterans 70 and older this Saturday, Jan. 16, and those 65 and older on Jan. 23, at two locations: Audie L. Murphy Memorial Hospital, 7400 Merton Minter Blvd., from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Frank M. Tejeda VA Outpatient Clinic, 5788 Eckhert Road from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Identification is required to verify enrollment and schedule the second dose. Updated information will be at Southtexas.va.gov or on Facebook.
City: The Alamodome is a mass vaccination site for both groups, operated by, the Metropolitan Health District. Appointments required. Metro Health has received another 9,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine and has begun booking new appointments. Appointments can be made by visiting this website or by calling 311 and choosing option 8. The site now operates from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday, with in-person and drive-thru options. The city schedules vaccine recipients for second doses when they get their first shots. Those who received their first doses before noon Jan. 13 will get a phone call from Metro Health to schedule their second doses. Those who miss the call can contact 311 and select option 8 or email COVID19@ . More information can be found on the city’s website.
Brooke Army Medical Center: The hospital is focusing on inpatient and outpatient medical and support personnel. It said the next phase will include high-risk military beneficiaries. Updates will be provided here and through social media.
Christus Santa Rosa: Has an appointment system for some clinics and outpatient care sites. Group 1B appointments are filled. Visit its website and use the online chat function to be screened for eligibility and check availability.
CVS: Only giving doses to long-term care facilities at this time. Once vaccines are more widely available, you can sign up for appointments.
H-E-B: Currently out of the vaccine. Will vaccinate people in groups 1A and 1B once more supply is received. Check on supply status and register at the H-E-B registration portal. Customers due for a second dose will be contacted directly once those doses are ready.
Methodist Healthcare: Vaccinating its employees and providers; also has been offering the vaccine to several thousand health care workers in the community, such as nursing home staff, nursing students and EMS workers. On Friday, Methodist began vaccinating solid organ transplant patients, as well as blood and marrow transplant patients. Will soon begin vaccinating eligible patients being cared for in all Methodist hospitals. Call 833-582-1974 or visit their website for more information.
University Health System: All appointments for people in group 1B have been filled. Once more doses are in stock, a scheduling tool will be launched. Updates will be on its Go Mobile app and its newsletter, available here. Go to the UHS website or call 210-644-1960 for information.
UT Health San Antonio: Vaccinating UT Health patients only at this time. Patients will be notified through MyChart when they are eligible. The online medical portal also is available as an app.
Walgreens: Giving doses to residents and staff of long-term-care facilities. Not yet taking appointments for group 1B. Check its website for updates.
How much does the vaccine cost?
The vaccine is free of charge, regardless of insurance status.
Do I have to show proof of age or underlying condition?
DSHS has not offered guidance on how providers should check for proof of age or qualifying conditions.
Some providers have created their own policies to show proof of age or condition. H-E-B said patients can provide an ID or a prescription for their proof, while University Hospital has said it will take people at their word if they say they have underlying conditions.
Who is next, and when?
Texas’ Expert Vaccine Allocation Panel is considering criteria for later stages of vaccine distribution. It’s likely the general public won’t receive the vaccine until at least the spring.
Any providers with extra doses can administer them to any willing person regardless of their priority designation so that usable vaccine won’t sit on the shelves.