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SA mayor requests COVID-19 vaccines from FEMA, says Alamodome site may have to close without them

San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg, Judge Nelson Wolff request more vaccine doses at the federal level

Generic image of Mayor Ron Nirenberg. (ksat)

SAN ANTONIO – City leaders are requesting more first COVID-19 vaccine doses from the Federal Emergency Management Administration to establish another mass vaccination site in the San Antonio region.

This comes after one of the city’s current mass vaccine sites, the Alamodome, hasn’t received first vaccine doses in nearly three weeks from the state’s allocations, according to San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg.

The state’s weekly allocation list indicates that San Antonio Metro Health should have received 9,000 doses the week of Jan. 25, 10,000 doses for the week of Feb. 1, and 10,000 doses for the week of Feb. 8. The Alamodome site is slated to receive just 1,000 doses next week.

Without these first doses coming in, Mayor Nirenberg said the Alamodome’s vaccine site may have to close.

Both Mayor Nirenberg and Judge Nelson Wolff are asking for assistance in setting up the mass vaccination site in the region or are requesting an additional vaccine supply so that the city may establish another mass vaccination site all on its own.

The mayor and judge sent a letter to FEMA Regional Administrator Tony Robinson with the vaccine request, as announced on social media. The full letter can be read below.

“The need in our region is great. In addition to being the third most populous area in the state, Bexar County is ranked first in the Center for Disease Control’s Social Vulnerability Index,” Nirenberg said in the letter.

The index measures a community’s need for support while combating the coronavirus pandemic, and considers risk factors such as poverty, transportation access, housing and healthcare, according to the letter.

City leaders say Bexar County has also suffered more deaths per capita than other large cities in the state. Although case numbers, deaths and hospitalizations seem to have decreased in the last week or so, city officials are still working to vaccinate all who are eligible in a timely manner.

Mayor Nirenberg concluded the letter, urging federal leaders to make haste and fully consider the additional site in the Alamo City.

“We request your full consideration and expedient action in the establishment of a federally supported mass vaccination site in San Antonio.”

There are currently four mass vaccination sites in Bexar County. You can learn more about those vaccination sites here.

Only people in the state’s Phase 1A and Phase 1B categories are currently eligible for the vaccine. 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 16 and older with a chronic medical condition that puts them at increased risk for severe illness from COVID‑19.

Read more on the KSAT vaccine page.

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