RIO GRANDE VALLEY, Texas (KVEO) — On Wednesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that they approve ages 12 through 15 to receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, and pharmacies and school districts spared no time administering vaccinations.
“Myself as a parent I was very excited to get this approval by the CDC to vaccinate my children and my patients,” said Cijo James, manager at Popular Pharmacy in the Rio Grande City. “We have given about 50 vaccinations yesterday.”
James’ pharmacy regularly collaborates with school districts for vaccine clinics, and on Thursday Mission CISD partnered with Popular Pharmacy to administer about two thousand vaccines to students.
“We are partnered with the Mission Consolidated Independent School District they are having a vaccination drive for those students who are 12 and above,” said James.
At Popular Pharmacy, there were also kids from ages 14 and up receiving their first and second doses. One, Jasmine Vela, 16, says she encourages others to also get vaccinated.
“I think other people should get vaccinated so they can protect themselves and people around them,” said Vela.
Other patients like Linnette Garcia, 15, and her cousin Anahi Guerrero, 14, were also among the patients receiving their first doses.
Hidalgo County says they are already planning with the state and other school districts to set up clinics as soon as next Monday.
“We’re partnering with many of our school districts and coordinating efforts with them to be able to set up P.O.D.S. with them, or points of distribution,” said Eddie Olivarez, Hidalgo County’s Health Administrator.
However, Hidalgo County’s health authority, Dr. Ivan Melendez, says that some parents are still hesitant.
“Initial significant resistance for a lot of parents,” said Melendez. “In fact, I’ve gotten several calls of parents that say ‘we’ve got it but we aren’t going to let our kids get it.’”
Residents can sign-up anyone 12 and older on the Hidalgo County’s health website.
“We feel very confident that it will be very safe for the kids to get,” said Melendez.
Melendez says that though in the beginning, the demand will be high, it will also drop, and storing the Pfizer vaccine poses difficulties due to its storage conditions of sub-zero temperatures.
According to Melendez, only four percent of the world has been vaccinated, 30 percent of all Americans have been vaccinated, and 40 percent of the Rio Grande Valley has been vaccinated.
Despite the low-demand, some who were vaccinated today say they feel relieved.
“If you’re not sure to get it,” said Brianna Treviño, a 16-year-old patient at Popular Pharmacy. “I recommend that you should so that it can stop the spread and so that all of us could be safe.”