Is the state’s tier vaccine system working?

Local News

EDINBURG, Texas (KVEO) — Almost as soon as Doctors Hospital at Renaissance (DHR) announced there were nearly 7,000 vaccines available, they were gone. That left some asking how many people who do not qualify for a vaccine are getting one?

DHR officials said they are following state and CDC guidelines but no documentation to prove they are eligible is required.

“We hope that people are respectful of their peers, and people that are at higher risk than others. I wouldn’t want to go in front of my grandmother. I wouldn’t want to go in front of my aunt or my neighbors that need it, that would be pretty reckless,” said Dr. Robert Martinez, DHR Chief Medical Officer.

We reached out to the Texas Department of State Health Services, who said in a statement:

“The person can self-disclose their qualifying medical conditions.  They don’t need to provide documents to prove they qualify.” – Spokesman, Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS).

DSHS says they do not want to create barriers that would prevent people from getting the vaccine. At the city of McAllen vaccine distribution, documents are recommended but not required.

“We’ve had some concern that some doctors may not be good candidates for the vaccine. So based on that the county asked that we just invite them to bring information with them, when they come to the event,” Jeff Johnston, Emergency Management Coordinator, City of McAllen.

Doctors with DHR say if you know of someone younger than 65 who got the vaccine, you shouldn’t assume that didn’t need it.

“How do you know if they have diabetes or they don’t? How do you know if they have pulmonary fibrosis? How do you know they don’t have rheumatoid arthritis? How do you know they don’t have lupus? You don’t, and so for people to prejudge is dangerous,” said Dr. Martinez.

Dr. Martinez said the important thing is to get vaccines into as many people as we can, as fast as possible.

“We don’t have a lot of time to waste and so at some point, people have to take personal responsibility.  They have to act like adults and members of society, that respect one another. You know there is only so much policing we can do. If we get into policing, you’re never going to meet the goal,” said Dr. Martinez.

If you would like information about finding a vaccine in the area, click here.

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