COVID-19 shots and birthday cake

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Usually, Bexar County Commissioner Rebeca Clay-Flores took her birthday and went to the beach. That year she hosted a Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccination clinic.

She even took a stab in the arm of the single-dose vaccine on Wednesday.

The Cinco de Mayo vaccination event at the Zarzamora University Hospital on the South Side offered tamales, mariachis, birthday cakes and free vaccinations for people with or without an appointment. County and university health officials encouraged anyone aged 16 and over to get vaccinated.

Kyle Qubrosi, a 58-year-old retiree, wanted to receive the Johnson & Johnson vaccine before its use was suspended on April 13 by the Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Federal authorities took the time to review evidence of blood clots reported by seven people who received the vaccine.

Qubrosi, who suffers from autoimmune problems and has “been quarantined for about a year” with his wife and daughter, believed the Johnson & Johnson vaccine offered the lowest risk of side effects against known COVID due to its single dose and protective ability -19 variants. Qubrosi had an appointment for inclusion the week it was suspended and took the Wednesday chance to get it.

“In my opinion, you should always be on the safe side. We don’t know what variants are out there, ”said Qubrosi. “Since I’m in a high risk category, I’d rather be careful than take any risk.”

Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine has been temporarily suspended but resumed in the US last week. A review of all available data shows that the vaccine’s benefits outweigh the risks, district officials said.

Clay-Flores, who took office January 1 as the South and Southwest County Commissioner, originally planned a Johnson & Johnson clinic at Texas A&M University-San Antonio in April, “because I would take a shot and be done wanted to be ”. . ”But the CDC suspension forced them to cancel.

“Because of the controversy with Johnson & Johnson, I decided it was important for me to publicly announce that I was taking the Johnson & Johnson to encourage the rest of the community to come out and take it,” she said about the happy sounds of mariachi music.

“I feel great!” She called.

But Clay-Flores is concerned about vaccination rates in the community.

Officials reported Monday that 40 percent of Bexar County’s adult residents were fully vaccinated. Health experts believe that at least 70 percent must be fully vaccinated to contain the virus.

“The demand has decreased. We really need to get our church vaccinated. I have cousins ​​my age in Mexico who cannot be vaccinated because there are not enough supplies. We have places like India that are being ravaged by death, ”said Clay-Flores. “As Americans, we should value our privileges, and part of that is taking the vaccine. It’s even free. “

University Health has limited supplies of Johnson & Johnson vaccine, but accepts people without an appointment at its vaccination center in Wonderland of the Americas Mall on weekdays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Walk-ups are also accepted on the Robert B. Green Campus of the UH in the city center, 903 W. Martin St., on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For more information, visit the link to the UH Vaccination Center at universityhealthsystem.com.

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