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5.6 million calls jam phone lines for WellMed COVID vaccine registration in San Antonio

Registration for COVID-19 vaccine is currently full

Author: Mary Claire Patton (KSAT12)

SAN ANTONIO – If you were having trouble accessing the WellMed locations on San Antonio’s South and West Sides this week you weren’t alone.

As of Wednesday afternoon, a staggering 5.6 million phone calls had been received since registration opened over the weekend, Councilwoman Adriana Rocha-Garcia told KSAT.

WellMed previously told KSAT that the toll-free number (833-968-1745) was quickly jammed as community members tried to secure spots for vaccinations.

Rocha-Garcia said 4,775 vaccines were administered within three days at the Elvira Cisneros Senior Community Center, operated by the WellMed Charitable Foundation on Southwest Military Drive and the city’s Alicia Trevino Lopez One-Stop Senior Center on Culebra Road.

A total of 9,000 doses were available at the two facilities but all of the slots have been filled, according to WellMed officials.

When more slots open, city officials are asking that residents call the same toll free number between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. to set up an appointment. Phones will be answered seven days a week during the 12-hour period. If you’re unable to get through, city officials say to keep trying as the lines are receiving hundreds of calls every minute.

The vaccine clinic at the Alamodome is also full. San Antonio city officials said in a press release last week that registration for the no-cost, COVID-19 vaccine registration filled up in just six minutes and that more than 11,000 people were on the registration website when it opened.

The Alamodome location is able to provide up to 1,500 vaccines per day. When more vaccines are made available the city will make the announcement via its social media channels.

San Antonio now has four mass vaccination sites that can administer nearly 30,000 vaccinations a week, including the Alamodome, two WellMed Clinics and the University Health mass vaccination clinic at Wonderland Mall. None of them have any vaccines available at this time.

“There are more than one million people in Bexar County who are eligible for the vaccine right now,” said Dr. Colleen Bridger. “At two doses per person, it will take us months to administer vaccinations to all Bexar County residents. The good news is that we are more than equipped to deliver every dose that we receive, so the message is being sent to state and federal leaders that we need more – a lot more.”

In Texas, people who fall into the state’s Phase 1A and Phase 1B categories are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, including healthcare workers, residents of long-term care facilities, anyone over age 65, and anyone 18-years or older with a chronic medical condition. Chronic medical conditions include cancer, kidney disease, COPD, heart conditions, solid organ transplant recipients, obesity, pregnancy, sickle cell disease and type two diabetes.

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