SAN ANTONIO – The COVID-19 vaccine may have been put on the fast-track for approval but the process of actually getting the vaccine has been a bumpy road for many people hoping to get inoculated.
Even some people who were fortunate enough to already get the first dose are still finding the process to be confusing.
In Texas, people who fall in the Phase 1A and Phase 1B categories can get the vaccine, if they can find it available.
Four main public vaccine distribution sites have been announced so far: the Alamodome, the WellMed Elvira Cisneros Senior Community Center on the South Side, the Alicia Treviño López Senior Community Center on the West Side and the University Health site at the Wonderland of the Americas. H-E-B has launched a registration portal on its website for people who are looking to get the COVID-19 vaccine, but there are no slots available locally because the pharmacies are still waiting for more vaccine doses.
Phase 1A includes front-line healthcare workers and residents at long-term care facilities and Phase 1B includes people over the age of 65 or anyone over the age of 18 with a chronic medical condition that puts them at increased risk for severe illness from COVID‑19.
One of the most frequently asked questions submitted to our website by KSAT viewers in recent weeks is, “How do I get scheduled for the second dose of the vaccine?”
We reached out to the biggest vaccine distributors in San Antonio for the answers.
Alamodome vaccine site
The protocol differs slightly depending on when you received the first dose of the vaccine from the Alamodome site.
If you got the vaccine since Jan. 13 or are scheduled to get the vaccine at the Alamodome in the future, your appointment for the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine will be scheduled after you receive your first dose and while you are still on-site.
If you got the vaccine before Jan. 13, Metro Health will call you to schedule a second dose. If you missed a call from Metro Health and need to schedule the second dose then call 311 and select option 8 or email COVIDfirstname.lastname@example.org.
WellMed sites: Elvira Cisneros Senior Community Center and Alicia Treviño López Senior Community Center
A WellMed representative confirmed to KSAT that second appointments are scheduled on the day that patients get their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. The second dose will be given at the same location 28 days later.
Patients are given a card with the date and will be emailed or texted a reminder if they provided an email or phone number.
University Health’s vaccine clinic at Wonderland of the Americas
University Health officials said that patients are scheduled for their second shot during the appointment when they receive the first COVID-19 vaccine dose.
Patients are given the information on a printout and on a separate appointment card. If a University Health patient loses the information that tells them an exact appointment time, they can come back at any time on the day of their scheduled second-dose appointment.
However, University Health officials wanted to stress that only people who have been scheduled for a first or second vaccine dose should show up to Wonderland of the Americas. Nobody else will be able to receive a vaccination there.
University Health scheduled appointments for the COVID-19 vaccine several weeks in advance, instead of one week at a time. Scheduling several weeks in advance will give people the assurance that they have a scheduled appointment, according to University Health.
University Health officials said late Friday that they had filled 24,240 available slots in three hours and 45 minutes for those in the Phase 1B group.
Officials say they will schedule appointments further into the future as soon as University Health receives more information about future distributions of the vaccine.
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If you received a first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine from an H-E-B pharmacy before the online scheduler tool was available, the pharmacy team will contact you with details on how to schedule your second dose.
H-E-B now has an online scheduler, and people who schedule through that tool will automatically be scheduled for a second dose after the first dose is received. However, H-E=B currently does not have any vaccine doses available in the San Antonio area. Officials with the grocery store say they have applied for more vaccines and the online scheduler tool will be activated when those doses become available.
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