Harlingen, Texas (KVEO) — Starr County set aside around 1,000 COVID-19 vaccines for public school teachers, according to county authority.
State lawmakers have been pushing to classify educators as frontline workers. However, Starr County began to set COVID-19 vaccines aside in part of the effort to open schools.
“We all strongly felt that the teachers should be included in the vaccination process. We mostly feel that it’s time to open schools up, and the only way to do that is to get the teachers protected, to begin with,” said Dr. Antonio Falcon, Starr County Health Authority.
About 1,400 teachers and administrators received a shot, and the county will also give COVID-19 vaccines to another 1,400 school employees.
“We allowed our staff to leave on a moment’s notice to go get vaccinated,” said Karmen Alaniz, principal of IDEA Rio Grande City College Prep.
“To make sure that the individuals that work at school be properly protected, and the only way to do that is through vaccines right now,” said Dr. Falcon.
County officials said that within two weeks anyone that works at a school and who wants a vaccine should get one.
“It is a great feeling knowing that we are finally prioritized, not only educators our teachers, but just everyone working at a campus right now,” said Melissa Garcia principal at IDEA Academy Rio Grande City. “We are truly in the front lines.”
Starr County educators told KVEO it’s comforting and that they feel safer going into work everyday.
“We appreciated them tremendously, that they set our staff as essential workers,” said Alaniz.