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San Antonio

Can Drunk People Get The COVID-19 Vaccine At Fiesta?

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Dominic Anthony Walsh
/
Texas Public Radio
Fiesta-goers can get the COVID-19 vaccine at some events in 2021.

While Fiesta is a time for music, partying and having a good time, that also means that a lot of Fiesta-goers have likely had a few drinks. But that doesn’t necessarily disqualify them from getting the vaccine at one of the Fiesta pop-up clinics.

Several traditional Fiesta events were canceled this year, including the Battle of the Flowers Parade, King William Fair and the Oyster Bake. However, there is one “event” at this year’s Fiesta that you won’t find in a normal Fiesta year: COVID-19 vaccine clinics.

San Antonio Metropolitan Health District is administering vaccines at Fiesta events. They offer the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to encourage people to get a shot without having to worry about returning for a second dosage, Lucy Hernandez said.

Hernandez manned the pop-up clinic at Night In Old San Antonio (NIOSA) on Wednesday, and at about 6 p.m., she said they had vaccinated two people.

“It’s early on, we do expect more,” she said. Metro Health is focusing their efforts on Fiesta events to try to reach more people who wouldn’t otherwise get the vaccine.

“We are reaching out to different communities throughout the City of San Antonio, hoping to reach that population that is not able to make it to a vaccine clinic — say at the Alamodome, or UT health, or other places that did have the vaccine available to the public,” she said.

Hernandez said she was at the Plaza Guadalupe pop-up clinic last week, where they vaccinated 102 people.

“I think it was in an area where it was more accessible to housing, to a neighborhood, and there were more people who were able to walk to the location, so we had families come together to be vaccinated,” she said.

But while Fiesta is a time for music, partying and having a good time, that also means that a lot of Fiesta-goers have likely had a few drinks. Hernandez said this doesn’t necessarily disqualify them from getting the vaccine at one of the Fiesta pop-ups.

“It would be up to the nursing staff to determine if the individual is able to understand (the consent form) they’re signing and what they are agreeing to have administered to them,” she said.

People also have to wait for a 15-minute observation period to ensure they don’t react negatively to the vaccine.

“People react differently. A majority of people have no reaction, so that’s hard to identify and relate it to alcohol if they’ve been drinking,” she said.

Metro Health will have clinics set up at NIOSA Thursday and Friday night from 4-8 p.m. There will also be a clinic at the Fiesta Carnival at the Alamodome through Sunday from 4-8 p.m., as well as one at La Charreada on Sunday from 3-5:30 p.m.

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