SAN ANTONIO — There's a new solution to ease the frustrations over landing a coveted coronavirus vaccine.
University Health is now letting people book vaccine appointments weeks in advance. As of Monday evening, those appointments have already been filled.
Mayor Ron Nirenberg and Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff said they supported the possibility of that registration method being used at other mass vaccination sites in the community. support the method. Nirenberg said officials continue to hold conversations about the possibility of expanding to other locations.
However, it is all dependent on supply. There is no guarantee a dose will be available on the day of an appointments that was booked well in advance.
Kathi Johnson did manage to lock down a spot in February, and she said it's giving her peace of mind.
"I had all these tabs open on my phone and computer," Johnson said.
Johnson, an associate pastor of Zion Lutheran Church who has diabetes, is all too familiar with the frustrations over booking a coronavirus vaccine appointment.
"I couldn't get in, couldn't get in, couldn't get in," she said.
Several hours later, Johnson finally through. Her appointment is in mid-February.
University Health is scheduling appointments weeks ahead instead of on a week-by-week basis, but warns residents that getting their vaccine is contingent on the size of vaccine shipments from Texas, which are determined on a weekly basis as well.
Thus, University Health officials is putting the onus on those who are able to set an appointment in advance to check back on its website the Friday beforehand in order to make sure they're good to go.
"It's a sense of relief for me," Johnson said.
With the uncertain amount of the vaccine arriving, however, KENS 5 asked local leaders if this gives people a false sense of hope.
"It will certainly ease things instead of everyone have to fight so hard to get in in one day," Wolff said. "Something can go wrong, there is no doubt about that. But we have the confidence, based on the history that we have gone through for the last two months, we are confident we will be getting it."
Last Friday, University Health said it booked more than 24,000 vaccine spots in less than four hours. Once more vaccines start rolling in, more appointments will be open.