Vaccination rates improving, local county officials push for rural areas

Local News

RIO GRANDE VALLEY, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Health officials across the valley share that vaccination rates have improved overall but some rural areas are still trying to ramp up vaccination efforts. 

“More people are realizing that, even those that might have doubts on the vaccine that it’s a good chance to take,” said Starr County Judge Eloy Vera.

Judge Vera said numbers are staggering in those over 65 years old with 99.9% of them receiving at least one dose and those fully vaccinated at 94%. Meanwhile, vaccination among 12 years and older are not far behind.

“We’re going to have a drive for those 12 and over at the schools so that hopefully we can get those numbers to increase,” said Vera.

Another place that officials are targeting is rural areas, Judge Vera adds that the county along with the national guard has worked on getting residents there vaccinated but there are some obstacles rural communities face.

“A lot of our rural people don’t have the means that other people have. as far as transportation, they’re older, they lack mobility,” he said.

This is why Judge Vera said they set up drives specifically in those had reach areas. Others like Willacy County have also ramped up vaccination efforts, but officials there say they still have ways to go.  

“Our goal is to get as close as we can to 100% and so we are not going to stop until we get as close as we can to 100%,” said Frank Torres, Willacy County EMS Coordinator.

Torres adds they are working on getting every resident vaccinated and said the only way to reach that 100% mark is with the help of the community.

“I think it’s just critical if you’re not vaccinated please do what you can to get vaccinated,” said Torres.

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