Mobile vaccine program giving homebound San Antonians a shot at COVID vaccines

10 teams deliver 1,000 vaccines per week

Thousands of San Antonians are finding hope and help at their front doors by way of a mobile COVID vaccine program.

SAN ANTONIO – Thousands of San Antonians are finding hope and help at their front doors by way of a mobile COVID vaccine program.

The program, known as MVP, is being conducted by the San Antonio Fire Department at the request of other agencies, including the San Antonio Housing Authority and Meals on Wheels.

“The whole premise of this is just to get some kind of normalcy back, and this is the way we’re going to do it, by getting everybody vaccinated,” said Lt. John Briones, who along with other team members, delivers about 1,000 doses of vaccine each week to people who are unable to leave their homes.

Gina Murray, who usually works as an engineer for SAFD, also has put aside her other duties to help out.

“It’s difficult for those elderly to get out and they’re afraid to get out,” she said. “When we get to some of these houses, they’re so excited to see us, knowing that there is no other way they would have been able to get this vaccine.”

There are ten teams in all, working six days per week on the program which was started in February.

Team members listen to the game plan for the day's deliveries of COVID vaccines. (KSAT 12 News)

They meet up in the Alamodome parking lot each morning, load up their vehicles, then head out to the homes.

Every dose of vaccine that they take with them has to be used within a certain time or it is wasted.

Briones and Murray say lately, they have noticed a slowdown in the number of people who are signing up for their doses.

Payne Monroe is not one of them.

The Northwest side senior said he was “happy” to get his second dose of the vaccine.

He had been trying to sign up for an in-person appointment for months.

“I kept calling and calling,” he said. “And then they came over here.”

His story, Briones and Murray said, is a perfect example of why the program was created.

They recalled another man who they visited recently who was anxious to visit relatives in Mexico who he had not seen since the pandemic began.

“They’re going to be there in two weeks, so that was one of the reasons he wanted to get vaccinated, to make sure that he was safe, his family was safe,” Murray said.

Briones said the long hours he and other teams members work is all worth it if they can help people return to living a more normal life.

“To know that we can make that happen makes us all feel good,” he said.

About the Authors:

Katrina Webber joined KSAT 12 in December 2009. She reports for Good Morning San Antonio. Katrina was born and raised in Queens, NY, but after living in Gulf Coast states for the past decade, she feels right at home in Texas. It's not unusual to find her singing karaoke or leading a song with her church choir when she's not on-air.

Tim has been a photojournalist and video editor at KSAT since 1998. He came to San Antonio from Lubbock, where he worked in TV and earned his bachelor's degree in Electronic Media and Communication from Texas Tech University. Tim has won a handful of awards and has earned a master's in Strategic Communication and Innovation from Tech as well.