‘A model to be replicated’: DHS Secretary compliments Bexar County exceeding vaccination goal

Local stats show 72.6% partial vaccination rate, surpassing Biden’s goal of 70% of adults by July 4

San Antonio – A top federal official complimented the City of San Antonio and Bexar County on their COVID-19 vaccination efforts during a visit to a mass vaccination site Tuesday.

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas praised the work that got Bexar County to surpass President Joe Biden’s goal of having a 70% partial vaccination rate among adults by July 4. Though Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data show the country as a whole still hasn’t hit that mark, local data shows that Bexar County has.

According to the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District, 72.6 percent of Bexar County residents 12 years and up are at least partially vaccinated.

“What San Antonio has achieved is a model for those who have not achieved it, because what San Antonio will be able to deliver is normalcy more quickly to its residents,” said Mayorkas, who toured University Health’s Wonderland of the Americas site during a trip to the Alamo City to speak with DHS employees. “And I hope that other cities see what San Antonio has done, and can do, and the results of a vaccinated public and what that means for their day-to-day lives, the day-to-day lives of their children, and will follow suit. It will be a model to be replicated.”

The federal government has been pushing for more people to get vaccinated. Just a few days from the Independence Day weekend, 66.2 percent of adults in the United States and 63.4 percent of people 12 years or older, have received at least one vaccination, according to the CDC.

Around Texas, Department of State Health Services statistics show 57.5% of Texans 12 years and up have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. However, that figure is likely low. Unlike the local Metro Health numbers, it does not include doses provided through the Department of Defense or Department of Veterans Affairs, where many service members and veterans likely got their vaccines.

San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg, who joined Mayorkas on his tour of the vaccination site, said San Antonio is not done yet.

We aren’t isolated, and we are - we all know that the virus is circulating, including the alarming Delta variant. They’re still out there. While the Delta variant has been confirmed in Austin, but not yet in San Antonio, public health experts assume it’s already here,” Nirenberg said.

About the Authors:

Garrett Brnger is a reporter with KSAT 12.

Before starting at KSAT in August 2011, Ken was a news photographer at KENS. Before that he was a news photographer at KVDA TV in San Antonio. Ken graduated from San Antonio College with an associate's degree in Radio, TV and Film. Ken has won a Sun Coast Emmy and four Lone Star Emmys. Ken has been in the TV industry since 1994.