1,000 more people in Hidalgo County received the coronavirus vaccine this week.
This Wednesday, Jan. 20, Hidalgo County held its fourth vaccination clinic at Palmview High School, in conjunction with the La Joya Independent School District. Residents arrived early the day before, and within one hour of its announcement filled the parking lot to reserve a spot in line.
Hidalgo County Health and Human Services administered the Moderna vaccine to 1,000 people, focusing on residents over the age of 65. Starting at 8 a.m., those eligible for the vaccine were registered, waited a few minutes, given the vaccine and then asked to wait 15 minutes.
During those 15 minutes, vaccine recipients were monitored for any side effects or reactions to the vaccine. Emergency Medical Services and doctors were also on site to aid anyone in need of assistance.
Blanca Cantu, the LJISD Public Relations & Communications Coordinator, said this is the third vaccine clinic held at La Joya ISD.
“We’ve had extremely great success,” Cantu said. “At the end of the day, our goal is to ensure the wellbeing and safety of all our students, employees and of course our community. We’re very happy to have these vaccination clinics available in our area for our residents.”
Cantu said normal operations at Palmview High School have to continue unimpeded.
“Our personnel and our nurses are also helping in this effort,” Cantu said. “As soon as people start showing up, we execute our plan.”
The plan is to register people and check the tally so all vaccinations are accounted for. As soon as they reach capacity, they notify the county to let the public know they will not be able to see any more people.
Elderly people or those with underlying conditions had the option to leave their vehicles in the parking lot so they wouldn’t lose their place in line for the vaccine. If they were able to be picked up by their family members, they could return the next morning when the clinic was operational.
Considering the number of positive cases and death rate in Hidalgo County, getting vaccines distributed is vital to the safety of the community.
“We have had a really good turnout – a lot of our residents want this vaccine, which is a good thing at the end of the day,” Cantu said. “Listening to the news, we know that as soon as 85 percent of people in our area get vaccinated, we can probably go back to normal operations.”
After registering and waiting inside, chairs were sanitized and wiped down by LJISD staff. Cantu urged residents to keep social distancing, as this virus is still ongoing.
“We want to make sure that just because we have the vaccine, or someone was vaccinated today, doesn’t mean you’re good to go [normally],” Cantu said. “We still need to be careful, we still need to wear face masks, practice social distancing and wash our hands.”
Hidalgo County intends to continue holding vaccine clinics for the qualifying public and health care workers.