Vaccination


COVID-19 Vaccine

Texas COVID-19 Vaccine Key Messages

12/30/2020

  • Multiple vaccines are being developed and manufactured in the United States. Currently there are two vaccines that have been cleared through an FDA Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). The authorization was based on scientific evidence about their safety and effectiveness gathered through large clinical trials.
  • Currently, there is a limited supply of vaccine being distributed throughout the San Antonio and Bexar County area. As manufacturing ramps up, more healthcare providers and pharmacies will have the vaccine available for administration.
  • Due to the limited supply, the vaccine is being allocated to specific critical populations in each phase. Currently, people who are in Phase 1A and Phase 1B are eligible to receive the vaccine.
  • As vaccine availability increases in 2021, people will be able to get vaccinated at doctor’s offices, pharmacies, hospitals and other “usual” sites.
  • Even after receiving a vaccine, people will need to take precautions like physical distancing and wearing a mask to help stop the spread of COVID-19 as more people get vaccinated and we learn more about the immunity produced by the vaccines.

Vaccination Administration Phases

Limited Supply « We Are Here

  • 1A Workers at:
    • Hospitals
    • Long-Term Care facilities
    • EMS 9-1-1
    • Home Health
    • Outpatient
    • ER/Urgent Care
    • Pharmacies
    • Last Responders
    • School Nurses
  • 1A: Long-Term Care Facility Residents
  • 1B: Persons aged 65+ or 16+ with at least one chronic medical condition, including pregnancy.
    This includes essential workers with at least one chronic medical condition.

Additional Supply

  • 1C: To be determined
  • 2: To be determined

Large Supply

  • 3: To be determined

Vaccine Candidates

  • There are currently two vaccines with an EUA approval from the FDA and two vaccine candidates in phase 3 clinical trials in the United States. The manufacturers are AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna and Pfizer.
    • Those from Moderna and Pfizer have received EUA authorization from the FDA and are being distributed for administration.
    • The manufacturers still in phase 3 clinical trials are AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson.
  • Pfizer and Moderna have announced preliminary results that suggest their vaccines are 90 percent or more effective. Additional safety data is required before FDA can authorize it.
  • The vaccines are not interchangeable. For two-dose vaccines, a person must receive two doses of the same vaccine to ensure maximum effectiveness.
  • Each vaccine candidate has different storage and dosage requirements:
Vaccine Candidate Shipping & Storage Temperatures Dose & Interval Approved For
Pfizer Ultra-cold frozen (-70oC)
5 days refrigerated
Two doses, 
three weeks apart
16 years and older
Moderna Therapeutics Frozen
7 days refrigerated
Two doses, 
four weeks apart
18 years and older
Johnson & Johnson Frozen (-20oC)
3 months refrigerated
Single dose To be determined
AstraZeneca Refrigerated Two doses, 
four weeks apart
To be determined

Vaccine Distribution

Plans & Reports:  View the COVID-19 Vaccine Implementation Plan.

Estimated Timeline

Vaccines are being administered, but how long will it be until you are eligible to obtain the vaccine? Health officials are considering vaccine timelines that give some people priority over others. If you’re healthy and not on the COVID-19 frontlines, you may need to wait a few months for your turn. Use this tool for a better understanding of how vaccine distribution will work.

Health Care Providers

  • Health care providers must enroll as a COVID-19 vaccine provider to be eligible to receive the vaccine. As of Sept. 16, more than 3,000 providers in more than 200 Texas counties have enrolled.
  • Vaccine will be provided at no cost by the CDC and shipped directly to vaccine providers along with supplies needed to administer it, such as syringes, needles, etc.
  • Each vaccine recipient will receive a card with information about the vaccine they received, and doses administered will be recorded in ImmTrac2, the state immunization registry, so that providers and recipients can ensure they receive the correct second dose.
  • While the vaccine supply is limited, a Texas Expert Vaccine Allocation Panel will meet regularly to make recommendations to the Commissioner of Health about how best to allocate the vaccine in Texas. Weekly allocations of vaccine will be posted at DSHS COVID-19 Vaccine Information.
  • Texas is actively working to ensure that every community across the state has access to COVID-19 vaccines, once they become available.

Health Care Providers: More about DSHS Provider Information for the COVID Vaccine.

Videos

COVID-19 Vaccine Town Hall - English

COVID-19 Vaccine Town Hall

Meeting Held: 02/25/2021

Archive

COVID-19 Vaccine Town Hall - Español

Lo Que Sabemos Sobre La Vacuna Del Coronavirus

Meeting Held: 11/18/2020

COVID-19 Vaccine: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why should I get the vaccine?

  • All available COVID-19 vaccines prevent moderate cases of COVID-19 and are extremely effective at preventing more severe cases that can lead to hospitalization and death.
  • The COVID-19 vaccine can help protect you by creating an immunity response in your body without you having to become sick with COVID-19.
  • Getting vaccinated also might help protect people around you from COVID-19, especially those at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19.
  Pfizer/BioNTech Moderna
Eligibility 16 years and older 18 years and older
Doses
  • 2 shots
  • 21 days between shots
  • 2 shots
  • 28 days between shots
Does it work? 95% effective in preventing COVID-19 starting 7 days after the 2nd dose 94.1% effective in preventing COVID-19 starting 14 days after the 2nd dose

Who can get the vaccine?

Who will notify us when it is our turn?
The City of San Antonio COVID-19 website shows the vaccination plans and which groups can receive the vaccine. Community members can also call 311 or consult your doctor.
Who is eligible?

Currently, people who are in Phase 1A, Phase 1B, or who are school or childcare personnel are eligible to receive the vaccine. The goal is for everyone to be able to easily get a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as more are available.

  • Phase 1A:
    • Front-line healthcare workers
    • Residents at long-term care facilities
  • Phase 1B:
    • People 65 years of age and older
    • People 16+ with a health condition that increases risk of severe COVID 19 illness, including but not limited to:
      • Cancer
      • Chronic kidney disease
      • COPD
      • Heart conditions
      • Solid organ transplantation
      • Obesity
      • Pregnancy*
      • Sickle cell disease
      • Diabetes
  • School and Child Care Personnel
    With the federal directive, the following education and child care personnel are now eligible to be vaccinated in Texas:
    • Those who work in preK - 12 schools;
    • Head Start and Early Head Start programs (including teachers, staff, and bus drivers); and
    • Those who work as or for licensed child care providers, including center-based and family care providers.
    • Valid School or Program ID must be provided.

*If you are pregnant, it is recommended to check with your doctor first.

You should allow 14 days (before or after) between your flu shot and the COVID-19 vaccine.

Do I need to show proof of Citizenship?
No. You will not need to prove citizenship to get a vaccine and public health will never share your information with any immigration or law enforcement agencies.
If I already had COVID-19 do I still take the vaccine?
Yes, people may get vaccinated after recovering from their COVID-19 infection.
Who should NOT get the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine?
  • Anyone with a previous severe or immediate allergic reaction should consult with their doctor first.
  • Those younger than 16 years of age
  • People currently isolating or experiencing symptoms of COVID-19; these people can get vaccinated once they have finished 10-day isolation and symptoms have resolved. 

Where can we go to get a vaccine?

As vaccines become more available, people will be able to get them at doctor’s offices, pharmacies, hospitals and other “usual” sites. Below is a list of large vaccine hubs in San Antonio. 

Organization Location Phone
City of San Antonio Alamodome, Parking Lot A
100 Montana St
210.207.6000
Option 8
University Health System Wonderland of the Americas
4522 Fredericksburg Rd
210.644.1960
WellMed

Elvira Cisneros Community Activity Center
517 S.W. Military Dr

Alicia Trevino Lopez Senior One-Stop Center
8335 Culebra Road

833.968.1745

**Locations may be subject to change
*Additional providers within San Antonio can be located via the DSHS Vaccination page.

How much does the vaccine cost?

There is no charge for the vaccine or administration.  You do NOT need health insurance.

Vaccine Safety

Is the vaccine safe?
Yes. Severe side effects are rare. Severe allergic reactions seem to be occurring about 1 for every 100,000 injections.
How were the vaccines developed so quickly?
Every study, every phase, and every trial was reviewed by the FDA and a safety board. Scientists have been working since the start of the pandemic to make COVID-19 vaccines as soon as possible.

Myths about the Vaccine

Will the government be tracking me?
No. Individuals can decide to sign up with the State’s C immunization registry so individuals can have a record of receiving their COVID vaccine.
Is the vaccine made from fetuses?
No. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines do not contain human fetal cells.
Does the vaccine have any blood cells in it?
No. The mRNA vaccines do not contain any blood products.

Reminders

  • Don’t just show up without signing up or checking the site’s instructions for vaccination.
  • Be patient, supply is limited. There isn’t enough for everyone right now. Texas gets more vaccines every week.

Vaccine Appointment FAQs

Is there a cost for the COVID-19 vaccine?

No.

Will I need an appointment?

Yes. You will need to make an appointment. Appointments are available based on the quantity of vaccine received.

Is there a waitlist for appointments?

At this time, there is no waitlist. Appointments are first come first serve for the priority populations.

Where do I go for my appointment?

Please see the Location information on the vaccination registration page for directions and arrival instructions.

What do I need to bring with me to my appointment?

You need to bring an ID and wear a face mask.

What proof do I need for my chronic health condition?

By registering for this location you acknowledge you are part of Phase 1A or 1B. Age verification, and/or qualified chronic medical conditions will be verified upon arrival.

I have a chronic health condition that is not listed on your website, am I still qualified for Tier 1B?

The state leaves the door open by saying that the list provided is not comprehensive. If you have questions about whether you should take the vaccine, ask your primary care doctor.

How will I schedule my second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine?

You will need to schedule an appointment for your second dose. You can schedule it at the same location or ask your doctor if their office can administer the second dose. You do not need to take the second dose at the same location, but you must use the same manufacturer as you first dose. (i.e.; If you received the Moderna vaccine at your first dose, you must receive the Moderna vaccine for your second dose. Your vaccine may not be effective if you do not use the same manufacturer for your second dose.)

How long do I need to wait to get my second dose?

The timing between your first and second shot depends on which vaccine you received. You should not get the second dose earlier than the recommended interval.

  • If you received the Moderna vaccine, you will need to wait at least 24 days after your first dose.
  • If you received the Pfizer vaccine, you will need to wait at least 21 days after your first dose.

You will need to complete the series of the 2 shots in order for them to work. Get the second shot even if you have side effects after receiving the first shot, unless a vaccination provider or your doctor tells you not to get a second shot.

When will more vaccine be available?

At this time, we do not know when we will receive more vaccine. We will keep everyone updated by sharing all updates on social media. Look for @SAMetroHealth on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

Do you have to be a San Antonio resident to register for an appointment?

No.

What should I expect after getting a COVID-19 vaccine?

COVID-19 vaccination will help protect you from getting COVID-19. You may have some side effects, which are normal signs that your body is building protection. These side effects may affect your ability to do daily activities, but they should go away in a few days.

  • Common side-effects
    • On the arm where you got the shot:
      • Pain
      • Swelling
    • Throughout the rest of your body:
      • Fever
      • Chills
      • Tiredness
      • Headache
  • If you have pain or discomfort, talk to your doctor about taking an over-the-counter medicine, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. You can also contact a Federally Qualified Health Center.
  • If you get a COVID-19 vaccine and you think you might be having a severe allergic reaction after leaving the vaccination site, seek immediate medical care by calling 911. Learn more about COVID-19 vaccines and rare severe allergic reactions.
  • CDC is also implementing a new smartphone-based tool called v-safe to check-in on people’s health after they receive a COVID-19 vaccine. When you receive your vaccine, you should also receive a v-safe information sheet telling you how to enroll in v-safe. If you enroll, you will receive regular text messages directing you to surveys where you can report any problems or adverse reactions you have after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.

I got my vaccine, now what?

It’s important for everyone to continue using all the tools available to help stop this pandemic as we learn more about how COVID-19 vaccines work in real-world conditions. Cover your mouth and nose with a mask when around others, stay at least 6 feet away from others, avoid crowds, and wash your hands often.

I made an appointment, but can I give my appointment to a family member who is more high-risk?

No, the registration is not transferrable. Each person needs to register individually. Registration will be confirmed at the site for each person. Multiple registrations for the same person will be cancelled.

What if I need to reschedule or cancel my appointment?

We cannot accommodate a reschedule or change to an appointment at this time.

How do I get second dose of COVID-19 Vaccine at the Alamodome?

Metro Health will be scheduling second dose COVID-19 vaccine appointments on-site after patients receive their first dose at the Alamodome to streamline the scheduling process.

Patients who received their first dose of the vaccine at the Alamodome from Jan 11 - 12, will be receiving a phone call from Metro Health to schedule their second dose. If a person missed a call from Metro Health and would like to schedule their second dose they can call 311 and select option 8 or email COVID-19@sanantonio.gov.