SAN ANTONIO – After more than 226,000 shots, the city is shuttering its mass vaccination site at the Alamodome amid declining demand.
The city held clinics for health care workers and other immediately eligible residents in December 2020 and then opened the site up as a mass vaccination location in January 2021. But roughly 15 months after the first shots went into arms, there are many more places to get vaccines and fewer arms that need them.
The site will close for good at 8 p.m. Friday.
“We were probably administering about -- at the highest at the peak --about 3,500 vaccines a day. And lately, we’ve probably been averaging about 50 vaccines a day in the last week or two,” said Miguel Cervantes, a public health administrator with the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District.
The number of lanes through the massive white tent on the Alamodome parking lot gradually shrank, as did the hundreds of people needed to staff and run the site.
And since July, the Texas Military Department has provided most of the staffing.
As the city cleaned up the main vaccination area Friday, the pop-up canopies and a few dozen people were enough to handle the trickle of cars still coming through.
One of those people was Terri Kurpgeweit, who was getting her vaccine booster before the site closed.
“I’ve come here each time, and it’s been a very smooth process, and that’s what I liked about it,” Kurpgeweit said. “So I didn’t have to worry about next week. ‘OK, where do I go?’ I know they have locations everywhere, but this was just the easiest and the biggest quickest for me.”
According to Metro Health statistics, more than 75% of the county’s eligible population is fully vaccinated, though Cervantes said many hadn’t received a booster shot.
But there are numerous ways for people to get shots now, whether at pharmacies or their local doctor’s office. Metro Health says it will continue to run pop-up vaccination clinics throughout the community.