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San Antonio Public Health Officials Plan For Future COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution

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Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccination study at the Research Centers of America in Hollywood
Marco Bello
A health worker takes plasma after a separation process from blood samples in centrifuge during a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccination study at the Research Centers of America, in Hollywood, Florida, U.S., September 24, 2020.

The U.S. continues to shatter records for daily new coronavirus cases and hospitalizations. The virus has infected more than 12.2 million Americans, killing at least 256,000 to date, and experts say the crisis will not be contained until a majority of the population is inoculated against COVID-19.

Emergency vaccine authorization could happen in December and San Antonio public health officials aim to be ready to distribute doses as soon as they arrive in Bexar County, where 74,591 cases and 1,335 deaths have been confirmed as of Tuesday.

What happens after a vaccine is authorized by the Food and Drug Administration? How long until it gets to San Antonio?

Will there be enough doses for everyone who wants one? If the supply is limited, who gets vaccinated first?

What will local distribution look like and who's involved? How could community partners aid the process?

Is it safe to get a COVID-19 vaccine? Will it be covered by health insurance? What about those who are uninsured?

Will vaccine availability help end the pandemic or be a turning point, at least? Could anti-vaccination sentiment impede progress?


  • Dr. Sandra Guerra, MD, MPH, interim deputy public health director for the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District
  • Dr. Anita Kurian, MBBS, MPH, DrPh, Metro Health assistant director of communicable diseases
  • Dr. Junda Woo, MD, MPH, medical director for Metro Health

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*This interview was recorded on Wednesday, November 25.

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