San Antonio, Bexar County officials urge COVID-19 vaccinations, booster shots as holidays approach

Officials continue to push for vaccinations to avoid holiday infection surge

SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio and Bexar County officials continued pushing for COVID-19 vaccinations and booster shots on Tuesday as the holidays near to avoid a surge in cases.

San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg and Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff told residents it is imperative they get their vaccines, even if they’ve been infected with COVID-19 before. They also encouraged vaccinated residents to get their booster shot six months after their second dose.

After a surge in coronavirus cases in the fall, infections have mostly tapered off in San Antonio, which reported a weekly positivity rate of 1.7% between Nov. 13 and Nov. 19.

“Although our current risk level is low, San Antonio and Bexar County continue to report new cases of COVID each day, and individuals are still being admitted to area hospitals,” Nirenberg said. “The best way to reduce your risk of COVID-19 infection and celebrate the holidays in a safer way is to get vaccinated.”

Local leaders gathered Monday to remind residents to get vaccinated. As the holiday season approaches, leaders say vaccines and booster shots can help prevent a COVID-19 surge.

The officials also pressed parents to make sure their children older than 5 get their vaccine shots. Shots were approved for children 5 and older on Nov. 2.

“Parents now have peace of mind knowing their children will be protected from COVID-19 when they are at school or around adults who might be unvaccinated,” Wolff said. “We also know that children can spread the coronavirus even if they are not showing symptoms. By getting vaccinated, they help to break the chain of transmission.”

As of Monday, 177 people are hospitalized with COVID-19 in Bexar County, while 71 are in the ICU and 30 are on ventilators. Nearly 5,000 Bexar County residents have died of the virus since the pandemic began in 2020.

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At least 26 Texas hospitals were out of ICU beds last week, according to the latest federal data. Look up the ones near you.

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