SAN ANTONIO – With new guidance from the Texas Department of State Health Services, people 65 or older or 16 and older with underlying medical conditions are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. But with vaccine doses still limited, people in that group may need to make multiple phone calls to providers before getting an appointment.
On Tuesday, the state’s health department released a map showing locations of COVID-19 vaccine providers. Officials say residents should access the map, find a nearby provider and call them to see if they are taking appointments.
“Not all providers are vaccinating the public or people in all priority groups,” according to a statement on the state’s map page.
In San Antonio, there are a few local clinics that are now offering the Moderna vaccine to patients. That vaccine has been approved for people older than 18.
But other providers, like H-E-B, which has received thousands of doses, are holding off on vaccinating people eligible in Phase 1B until “the need is met” for people who fall in Phase 1A, which includes frontline health care workers.
“H-E-B will follow the distribution schedule set by the government, and any updates will be communicated with customers via our Pharmacy page on heb.com and H-E-B Newsroom. During this first phase (1A) of Covid-19 vaccine rollout, some H-E-B pharmacies have received the Moderna vaccine to help vaccinate our community healthcare providers. Once the need is met within Phase 1A, vaccinations will be given to those who fall into Phase 1B. An appointment must be scheduled to receive the Covid-19 vaccine. Our pharmacies will not accept walk ins.”H-E-B
When H-E-B does plan on giving vaccines to people in Phase 1B, officials said an appointment must be scheduled with their pharmacy department. Walk-ins will not be accepted.
While the development of the COVID-19 vaccines has come at a record-breaking pace, the rollout has hit snags.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Tuesday accused providers of moving too slowly in administering the vaccine. Health and Human Services Commissioner Dr. John Hellerstedt penned a letter about the same topic.
A significant portion of vaccines distributed across Texas might be sitting on hospital shelves as opposed to being given to vulnerable Texans— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) December 29, 2020
The state urges vaccine providers to quickly provide all shots. We get plenty more each week
According to the state’s vaccine dashboard, less than 30% of the vaccines that have been delivered to providers have been administered.
San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg said Tuesday that roughly 31,000 of the 51,000 doses received in Bexar County have already been administered.