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Lower vaccine demand creates new challenges for San Antonio clinics

Local health experts say their focus has shifted to those who may still be hesitant about being immunized.

SAN ANTONIO — The first batch of coronavirus vaccines made its way to Bexar County on December 15th.

“We’ve been vaccinating people here in Bexar County for about 127 days,” Dr. Mike Charlton, Assistant VP for Risk Management and safety at UT Health San Antonio said.

Since then, Dr. Charlton says about 468,000 people in Bexar County have been fully vaccinated, and at least 725,000 people have received their first dose.

“That’s larger than the state of Vermont and the state of Wyoming,” Dr. Charlton said.

The race to get vaccine shots into the arms of as many people as possible is now slowing down.

Credit: KENS

“Most individuals in San Antonio who have been interested in getting vaccinated have been able to do so. We have seen, in the past week and a half, a significant decline in the number of calls we have into our center,”  Dr. Michael Almaleh, Medical Director for Wellmed Vaccination sites, said.

Dr. Almaleh says a drop in demand for the coronavirus vaccine doesn’t mean the job is over.

“It’s that other 20% or so that we would consider being hesitant. They haven’t decided for sure if they want to get a shot, but they also haven’t decided they don’t want one,” Dr. Almaleh said.

The doctor says because of slowed demand Wellmed will only be scheduling appointments at its Elvira Cisneros Senior Community Activity Center.

His message to the people still on the fence, “In my opinion, it’s not even close. The decision to get vaccinated, the benefits far outweigh the potential risks,” Dr. Almaleh said.

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