Rural Texas residents drive the distance for COVID-19 vaccines

17% of people who have received COVID-19 vaccine at Alamodome not from Bexar County, Metro Health says

BOERNE, Texas – To date, about 17% of people who have received the COVID-19 vaccine at the Alamodome are from outside Bexar County, according to the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District.

Holly Yates drove her husband from Hondo to San Antonio to get him his first vaccine dose. There was limited availability in her community, and they were unsuccessful in signing up for an appointment online.

“I’ve heard a lot about people driving. I’ve heard of people driving to Uvalde and Austin,” Yates said.

She said many people had gotten wind of where the vaccinations will be through online channels. Some drive to locations such as Austin, only to find out they can’t get access to one.

Boerne Mayor Tim Handren said Kendall County received about 1,200 vaccines in early January, but they were used quickly.

“What’s going on is there are a lot of people in Kendall County that are going to adjacent counties or even other counties to get the vaccine,” he said.

Handren says the state seems to give preference to hospitals, and Kendall County doesn’t have one. It’s also about accessibility, and many in that community can drive to hubs like San Antonio for a vaccine.

“Patience is one of the hardest things to have right now and at least trying to educate people on what is going on and why,” Handren said.

Kendall County will be receiving about 600 Moderna vaccines this week -- 400 for the city and 200 for the county. The City of Boerne website will have a signup portal available on Wednesday, according to a city spokesperson. The shots will be given by appointments on Friday at St. Peter’s Apostle Catholic Church.

Of those vaccines, 100 will be available for people who need their second dose.

Handren hopes that as other vaccines are approved, weekly allotments will be more consistent for rural communities like his.

Yates says she got lucky taking a drive to San Antonio and getting a shot. She hopes others have the same luck.

“At the end of the day, you might just go, and maybe someone didn’t show up because I know people are canceling appointments, and maybe you can just be lucky enough to get one,” she said.

About the Authors

Patty Santos joined the KSAT 12 News team in July 2017. She has a proven track record of reporting on hard-hitting news that affects the community.

Before starting KSAT in 2017, Lee was a photojournalist at KENS 5, where he won a Lone Star Emmy in 2014 for Best Weather Segment. In 2009 and 2010 Lee garnered first-place awards with the Texas Association of Broadcasters for Best Investigative Series in College Station, as well as winning first place for Staff Photojournalism in 2011 at KBTX.

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