State program delivers COVID-19 vaccines to local Meals on Wheels clients

The state program attempts to deliver 1,000 vaccines to the community per week

SAN ANTONIO – Vinsen Faris, CEO of Meals on Wheels San Antonio, says he’s already started getting calls from seniors grateful for the chance to get their COVID-19 shots without leaving home.

“This is one of the first in the nation to actually knock on the doors, get inside the house and do the inoculation there in the home,” Faris said.

About 4,000 people are served through Meals on Wheels in San Antonio, Faris says about one-third of them have asked to be put on the list to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. About 1,700 of the clients are over the age of 75 and 11 are over the age of 100.

The Seniors First Program is an effort by the state to deliver 1,000 shots to the community a week specifically for homebound seniors.

The partnership comprises of the City of San Antonio, San Antonio Housing Authority and San Antonio Fire Department. On Tuesday the Mayor said 380 vaccines had been given out in two days. Meals on Wheels provides the list of those interested clients to the city and they determine how to prioritize.

Don and Linda Simmons, volunteers with Meals on Wheels, said that since the news broke about the vaccine availability to program members, clients were excited and asked about being put on the list.

“This particular one lady said she hadn’t been out in over a year from her house,” Linda said. “We had a couple today that, specifically because of the vaccine, were more talkative.”

Simmons says the people who are in walkers and do not have access to smartphones or computers are really grateful to see the vaccines arriving at their doorsteps.

Faris also warns clients to be patient, because those 1,000 promised vaccines weekly are dependent on availability and arrival from the state.

He urges any homebound senior interested in learning more about the meal delivery program to contact them at, 866-806-6972.

Related: ‘Do not call 911 to schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment,’ San Antonio Fire Department says

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