SAN ANTONIO – Thousands more doses of the COVID-19 vaccines are set to be distributed in San Antonio this week.
Beginning Monday, the Alamodome and two other vaccine sites on the city’s South Side and West Side will begin vaccinating eligible residents. However, vaccination appointments and doses are limited.
Dr. Bryan Alsip, chief medical officer with University Health System, joined Leading SA on Sunday to discuss the current outlook on the city’s vaccine distribution progress.
“I think as a nation, as a state, and even our own community, we’re not where we had hoped to be at this point, given the vaccine we thought we would have. But, you know, several organizations are really stepping up and University Health. We’ve administered over 20,000 doses to health care workers, first responders, and then most recently through our operation to the public at Wonderland,” Dr. Alsip said.
Right now, University Health is aiming to vaccinate 1,000 people every day, but not everyone has been able to register as of yet, given the limited amount of openings.
For now, Dr. Alsip said it all just depends on how many vaccines are available for distribution.
“We can only open slots of the vaccine that we have. And so that’s what we’re really waiting on,” Dr. Alsip said.
The vaccine will require two doses, spaced out within weeks of each other. Dr. Alsip said it’s also worth noting that the effects of the vaccine aren’t immediate.
“It takes about two weeks for the initial effect to kick in. That’s about how long it takes for your antibodies to develop after exposure to the vaccine. But it’s really important to get that second dose because, you know, that’s what creates the entire amount of efficacy against covid, the disease we’re trying to fight,” Dr. Alsip said.
The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are being administered around the country, and it appears as though those will be the only options for at least the next few months.
“There’s a third vaccine that’s been authorized by other countries. The United Kingdom and India have authorized the AstraZeneca vaccine that was made in collaboration with the University of Oxford. It offers some logistical benefits. It only needs to be refrigerated. But early estimates are that it might not receive authorization in the U.S. until as early as April. So we’re really going to have to maximize the supply we have of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine,” Dr. Bryan Alsip said.
You can watch the full interview with Dr. Alsip in the video player above.
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