SAN ANTONIO – With President-elect Joe Biden taking office in less than a week, mayors across the U.S. are already requesting more COVID-19 vaccines from his administration.
Mayor Ron Nirenberg and several other mayors across the nation, including Austin Mayor Steve Adler and Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, penned a letter to Biden’s administration requesting the ability to bypass the state and get a direct line of vaccines to their communities.
“I’m proud to join my mayoral colleagues in requesting that the Biden Administration prioritize a direct line of vaccines to our communities,” Mayor Nirenberg said on social media Thursday.
The full letter can be read below:
One of the Biden Administration’s goals during his first 100 days of office is to vaccinate 100 million Americans, as referenced in the letter above. The administration also stated that it will work to install “an effective distribution plan,” on Biden’s first day of presidency, according to an article from NPR.
Biden’s plan so far is to spend $25 billion on vaccine production and disbursement, NPR reports. But, it’s unclear what specifically his distribution plan entails.
In the letter, mayors said to make this vaccine goal happen, “cities need direct access to vaccines, funding to support scaling the distribution infrastructure, and funding to support engagement and outreach to disadvantaged communities.”
“...By allocating vaccines directly to cities and providing funding to support their efforts, more vaccines can be administered in a more quick and efficient manner,” the letter states.
Mayors said in the letter that they hope to develop a plan with the Biden administration on day one that will help residents to get their COVID-19 vaccines as quickly as possible.
The city of San Antonio has already established a few vaccination sites so far, including the Alamodome, the WellMed Elvira Cisneros Senior Community Center on the South Side, and the Alicia Treviño López Senior Community Center on the West Side.
A total of 9,000 doses were available at the South Side and West Side sites this week, but spots have already been filled. Appointments to receive the vaccines ultimately depend on how many are available.
In Texas, people who fall into the state’s Phase 1A and Phase 1B categories are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, including healthcare workers, residents of long-term care facilities, anyone over age 65, and anyone 18-years or older with a chronic medical condition.
These chronic medical conditions include cancer, chronic kidney disease, COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), heart conditions, solid organ transplantation, obesity and severe obesity, pregnancy, sickle cell disease and Type 2 diabetes.
Read more on our vaccine page.