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Juarez Lincoln High School hosts second dose vaccination clinic

A second dose of the Moderna COVID vaccine was administered on Thursday at Juarez Lincoln High School in La Joya. Recipients eligible include those who previously received their first vaccine on January 14th at the school.

Public Relations and Communications Coordinator Blanca Cantu, who has worked on Operation Lone Star which brings free health services to the RGV was impressed with the clinic’s success.

“LJISD workers sanitizing in preparation for the COVID vaccine clinic. Courtesy Photo.”

“We’ve had three clinics in our district, our fourth one was yesterday,” Cantu said. “Our district facilitates this process because right now we’re vaccinating the 65 and over, and the ones with underlying conditions. Sometimes we don’t want them to stay the night, so what our chief of police developed was a system where they can come and they can leave their vehicle to save their place and the next morning they can get in line to do the vaccine.

We’re administering 1,000 second dosages today. So these are individuals that are coming back to complete their process for the COVID vaccine.”

The vaccines have been making their way to different kinds of people in the community, but priority is currently being given to those 65 and older and those with underlying medical conditions that are more susceptible to contracting COVID.

“Our mission is always to ensure the wellbeing and safety of our students, employees and community,” Cantu said. “So as a district we go that extra mile to be able to partner with Hidalgo County Health Department. And be able to service our residents on our end of the Valley and Hidalgo County as well. Being the big district, we have to come together. This is open for all of the county, this is not only for La Joya residents or community. We’re just trying to help Hidalgo County get more people vaccinated in less time.”

“Anything that we can go ahead and do for the community. As far as helping everybody get that second dose,” said Albert Gonzalez, nurse/program director of RGV Vocational Services in La Joya.

“Being that most of the people are from here from the local area, it’s very beneficial for them because we have a lot of people that are out here from the colonias as well,” Gonzalez said. “Being a close site for the vaccine is very helpful.”

“District and LJISD nurses administer vaccines to the public. Progress Times photo by Laura I. Juarez”

Skepticism is not in short supply regarding the vaccines. Some people are worried that receiving the vaccine too early on is not a good idea, believing that they were rushed and may cause harmful side effects.

“Right now would be the best time, since supply is available,” Gonzalez said. “It’s important to make sure you get enrolled and registered and take advantage of it.”

La Joya ISD District Nurse Coordinator Marissa Morales spent the day checking in patients and getting them their second vaccination.

“We get approximately 12 to 20 nurses that come and assist. They leave their campuses to come do the immunizations,” Morales said. “Right now we’re doing two immunization clinics a week. It’s great to know that we’re giving back to our community. Not only are we helping the children on a daily basis, but we also get to help out all these people.”

“Setting up inside the Juarez Lincoln high school gym for second COVID vaccine clinic. Progress Times photo by Laura I. Juarez”

Roughly 1,000 people from the community come in each time there has been a clinic. These nurses have been working tirelessly to ensure that there’s a bit more hope that the end of this pandemic is coming soon.

“It’s something for them to wake up and know that they made a difference when it comes to this pandemic,” Morales said. “In two hours we were able to immunize 450 of our community members so it’s going pretty good.”

“My advice to everybody is if you are in those categories, 65 and older, severe medical conditions or you’re a medical professional, of course get your vaccine,” Morales said. “But if you’re part of the other population then it’s important to give it time for it to be your turn. It’s very important that we get it. If we want to end this pandemic, then most definitely it is important that we get our vaccine.”

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