HARLINGEN, Texas (KVEO) — With thousands of people waiting to be next in line for the vaccine, officials say around 10% of the Rio Grande Valley’s eligible population has been vaccinated.
Health officials share why it seems we are behind in the vaccination process.
“South Texas, Rio Grande Valley we have been short-changed in a lot of issues in the past,” said Dr. Ivan Melendez, Hidalgo County Health Authority when speaking on vaccine distribution.
In Hidalgo County, nearly 27,000 people have received at least one dose of the vaccine and around 23,000 in Cameron County.
While the vaccine rollout across the state has been slow, Dr. Melendez says 10% of the population is a good start.
“Quite frankly 70% of the population in the valley are either hypertensive, obese, or diabetic or born before 1955 so almost everyone in the community is eligible for vaccinations,” said Dr. Melendez.
While the number of those who have received the COVID-19 vaccine is constantly changing, Dr. Melendez said it’s crucial to update the information to ensure how many Texans have been vaccinated.
“The needle in the arm is relatively quickly and so that’s been one of the rate-limiting steps of how quickly people can be vaccinated it’s actually getting the information into the state website so they can track it all,” he said.
In terms of how many vaccines are allocated to our area, Dr. Melendez said it’s up to state officials to determine the amount and assures there is no vaccine that he’s aware of that is sitting on a shelf.
“We’ve gotten our fair share I think we are among the leaders in the state I think that if we continue with this level of allocations that we are going to do well,” he said.
More information on vaccine distribution in the Rio Grande Valley can be found here.