CONTACT: For members of the media, please contact:
Laura Mayes, City of San Antonio (210) 207-1337; (956) 821-7925
Michelle Vigil, City of San Antonio (210) 207-8172
For questions from the general public, please contact:
COVID-19 Hotline (210) 207-5779
SAN ANTONIO (November 18, 2020) – The San Antonio Metropolitan Health District (Metro Health) has created a COVID-19 Vaccine Implementation Committee. This committee comprised of over 60 organizations, includes healthcare providers, pharmacies, the faith-based community, community partners and more. This committee is essential to developing local strategies and tactics to educate and inform Bexar County residents about vaccine developments and about the importance of getting vaccinated once the COVID-19 vaccine is available.
“As we continue to move forward in this pandemic, working together is key to our success in helping reduce the spread of COVID-19. Metro Health is committed to keeping the community informed and having a fair, ethical and transparent approach for the new vaccine distribution plan roll out.” said Dr. Anita Kurian, Assistant Director of Communicable Diseases.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has shared their COVID-19 Vaccination Program Interim Playbook for Jurisdiction Operations. This document provides guidance for health departments and includes best practices in vaccine distribution. Metro Health’s current plan can be found on the COVID-19 Portal.
Immunization with a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine is a critical component of the strategy to reduce COVID-19-related illnesses, hospitalizations, and deaths and to help restore community and societal functioning. The goal is to have enough COVID-19 vaccine for all people who wish to be vaccinated. However, early in the COVID-19 Vaccination Program, there will be a limited supply of COVID-19 vaccine. Supply will increase into 2021.
Because of this limited initial vaccine supply, Metro Health’s local vaccination efforts will focus on Critical Population Groups (CPGs) as defined by the CDC. CPGs include individuals who are critical to the COVID-19 pandemic response, provide direct care, people living in group settings, and those who are at high risk for severe illness. Once a COVID-19 vaccine is approved for distribution, Metro Health will follow CDC and the Texas Department of Health Service’s recommendations and guidance on vaccine allocation and priorities and will update the local plan accordingly as needed.
“Much like with the H1N1 vaccine, the supply will be limited in the beginning. We will prioritize people like hospital staff and first responders for the first round of vaccinations and as supplies become more available expand out to high risk individuals and eventually to the general public “said Dr. Sandra Guerra, Interim Deputy Metro Health Director.
“We understand that people will have a lot of questions about this vaccine. With the transition from the Trump Administration to the Biden Administration, we expect there will be a number of changes in the process. We will share all of the information we have as soon as we get it and as things change, we will share that as well. Our number one goal is to keep the community informed about who can get vaccinated when and where” said Assistant City Manager and Interim Health Director, Dr. Colleen Bridger.
To help keep the community informed about the rapidly changing situation, Metro Health and community partners will be hosting virtual townhalls to engage and answer questions that the community may have about the COVID-19 vaccine. Upcoming events will be listed on the Metro Health website.
For more information please visit the COVID-19 portal.
FOUR WAYS TO SIGN UP FOR COVID-19 ALERTS
- Download the Ready South Texas app, available in the iTunes and Google Play stores
- Text COSAGOV to 55000 to receive SMS text message updates
- Follow @COSAGOV on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
- Bookmark covid19.sanantonio.gov
Public service announcements on physical distancing, prevention and testing are available here.