UT Health San Antonio doctor says city’s COVID-19 vaccinations are up, risk level is down

Dr. Robert Leverence, with UT Health San Antonio, joined Leading SA on Sunday

SAN ANTONIO – We are still in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, but in San Antonio, the risk level has gone down and vaccinations have increased.

According to the most recent COVID-19 dashboard on the city’s website, we are at a moderate risk level. But, there are still a lot of questions surrounding vaccines and booster shots.

That’s why Dr. Robert Leverence, with UT Health San Antonio, joined Leading SA on Sunday to talk about where San Antonio currently stands in the pandemic.

Right now, about two-thirds of San Antonians are vaccinated, so we’re making really good progress. But with the Delta virus, it’s not quite good enough... We could have reached herd immunity with two-thirds before Delta, but Delta is much more infectious. So, I always say we need to get up near 90% vaccination rate ... the sooner we get there, the better,” Dr. Leverence said.

Dr. Leverence said most experts believe COVID-19 isn’t going away and it may be part of the future of the human condition.

“The good news is that if we could tame it if you will, like we’ve done with the flu, then we can live with it, get a COVID shot once a year and otherwise live normal lives,” Dr. Leverence said.

In terms of the possibility of another surge, Dr. Leverence said schools could play a huge factor, but so could vaccinations.

“The higher our vaccination rate is, the less likely we’d have that surge. And so I do want to put a plea out for folks that haven’t been vaccinated yet,” Dr. Leverence said.

In terms of booster shots, Dr. Leverence said the CDC’s website is the best place to check if you are eligible. He is also excited about the possibility of vaccines for children.

“We’re hoping by the end of this month or early in November, we’ll have vaccines available for children. And that’s important because once again, they represent 20% of the population and now they’re gathering indoors every day during the week,” Dr. Leverence said.

And most recently, Merck is trying to get their antiviral pill approved, which could also aid in the fight against COVID-19.

“That could be a real game-changer if we had a pill to treat Covid. I think for those that are hesitant to get the vaccine. Yeah, they may not want the vaccine when they’re feeling well, but I think they’d be likely willing to take a pill when they were feeling poorly,” Dr. Leverence said.

You can watch the full interview with Dr. Leverence in the video player above.

About the Author:

Max Massey is the GMSA weekend anchor and a general assignments reporter. Max has been live at some of the biggest national stories out of Texas in recent years, including the Sutherland Springs shooting, Hurricane Harvey and the manhunt for the Austin bomber. Outside of work, Max follows politics and sports, especially Penn State, his alma mater.