RGV schools roll out vaccines for ages 5-11, nearly 7,000 students vaccinated, says DSHS

Local News

RIO GRANDE CITY, Texas (ValleyCentral) — On Wednesday, some Rio Grande Valley students ages 5-11 lined up at a Rio Grande City pharmacy and received the Pfizer pediatric COVID-19 vaccine.

The White House announced on Wednesday nearly 900,000 kids ages 5 through 11 have been vaccinated nationwide.

The Department of State Health Services reports that nearly 7,000 kids ages 5 through 11 in the Rio Grande Valley have been vaccinated since the vaccine’s approval last week.

In Starr County, Popular Pharmacy manager Cjo James said that after a week over 500 kids have received the Pfizer pediatric COVID-19 vaccine.

James said that Popular Pharmacy is partnered with multiple school districts, one being Valley View ISD who had its second pediatric clinic on Wednesday.

“Last week we also did the same with Valley View and Rio Grande City Independent School District and IDEA Public Schools as well,” said James.

Valley View ISD interim superintendent Nancy Montemayor said they had about 180 students at their first clinic last week and expect the same turnout at each clinic.

“Of course, we are hosting it at every elementary school, to encourage the students from their home school to get vaccinated,” said Montemayor.

Officials from McAllen ISD said they will host their first pediatric clinic on Saturday, and officials from Harlingen CISD said they are still developing their vaccination rollout plans.

Meanwhile, Brownsville ISD hosted their first pediatric drive-thru clinic on Wednesday at the Brownsville Events Center.

“Right now, we have 4,000 and we can order some more if needed, and I can tell you right now within the first hour we have administered 200 vaccines already,” said Dr. Nellie Cantu, deputy superintendent for Business and Operations at BISD.

Some parents said the pediatric vaccine brings them a sense of security and relief.

“It’s much better because it helps with their health and prevents them from spreading the virus,” said Rosario Rivera, a BISD parent.

Looking forward, BISD said they would explore lifting the mask mandate if enough kids are vaccinated.

“That is definitely an option we would explore, right now we are just beginning with our students. As I mentioned 90% of our staff is vaccinated, but we want our students, the majority of our students, to be vaccinated,” said Cantu.

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