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Wonderland vaccine center expects busy anniversary

Staff prepares for new demand in anticipation of expected CDC recommendation for boosters for 12-15-year-olds

Today marks one year to the day since University Health launched the mass vaccination site at Wonderland of the Americas. Since that time, we have put more than half a million shots in arms in the battle against COVID-19. Many, many people on multiple teams have had to work closely and pivot constantly to make the Wonderland site accessible, efficient and successful. They are ready to pivot again, prepared to provide boosters to children ages 12-15, based on a CDC recommendation expected this week.

When vaccines were first authorized for the public, University Health acted fast to turn a leased training center at the mall into a vaccine center. As demand increased and many people soon needed to return for their second shots, we worked with mall management to turn a former Anna’s Linens on the second floor into a second site. That site closed July 2 when demand dropped – then reopened September 24 as the first boosters were authorized for an eager public. We went from an appointment system to walk-ins, and then back to appointments when children ages 5-11 were authorized to receive their shots, to ensure that parents with little children were not stuck in long lines. As eligibility continues to open up and demand ebbs and flows, our teams continue to pivot with the needs of the community to make the process as safe and easy as possible.

Thousands of people from San Antonio, across the state, throughout the nation and even from many countries around the world have been able to get their COVID-19 vaccines at Wonderland. The work of University Health teams, including but not limited to pharmacy, nursing staff, registration staff, patient care technicians, IT, security, call center personnel, volunteer teams, and therapy animals, has been acknowledged as a national model for mass vaccine operations.

Every vaccinated person in every community makes the world safer from COVID-19, and we are incredibly proud of all the people who have made this operation a success as we continue to provide free lifesaving vaccines – 538,000 at Wonderland alone.

University Health Chief Information Officer Bill Phillips, who has led the vaccine operation, will be on site at Wonderland, 4522 Fredericksburg Rd., and available for interviews between 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. today. Please plan for limited time and access on site.

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