First COVID-19 vaccines administered at UT Health on Tuesday

65-year-old doctor receives shot from UT Health nursing student

SAN ANTONIO – After nearly nine months of battling through a deadly pandemic, it seems like the end may finally be on the horizon.

On Tuesday, local health care workers and support staff were among the first in Bexar County to be immunized for COVID-19.

Applause roared as some of the first vaccines in Bexar County entered the designated room at UT Health San Antonio’s nursing school, where 100 medical professionals and support staff received their first of two doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine.

Dr. Adelita Cantu, an associate professor at UT Health San Antonio-School of Nursing, was the first to roll up her sleeve.

“I’m just playing one role that everyone else is playing nationwide to be a part of the end of the pandemic,” Cantu, 65, said. “It’s an inspiration to me, and I hope it’s an inspiration to a lot of the people in the community.”

Kendra Mack, a nursing student entering her final semester, also made history by being the first to administer the vaccine at the school. Mack said the desire to help end the pandemic is deeply personal.

“My grandmother has COVID, and she’s in a nursing home right now,” Mack said. “So just being able to take a step and -- take a step back and really recognize that I’m able to make a difference right now as a student ... that just means the world to me.”

And it means the world to Cantu that others realize the importance of rolling up their sleeves and getting the vaccine as soon as they can.

“It is here,” Cantu said. “It’s safe. It’s secure. Get it.”

Cantu is planning on getting her second dose on Jan. 5. According to UT Health, every day over the next five days, 1,000 medical professionals and support staff will follow in Cantu’s footsteps by receiving their first doses of the vaccine.

Vaccines for the general public are expected to be rolled out in the coming months.

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