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Vanguard Academy hosts vaccine clinic for 700 migrant farmworkers

Local News

PHARR, Texas (KVEO) — Jose Robledo works in construction, which takes him across the country.  

“Every week I go to work in Austin, Midland, Arkansas,” he said. 

When he got the call a vaccine could be reserved for him, he was right on board, having already seen the effects the virus could have. 

“It got to my son and some other people in my family,” Robledo said. “It was a little scary.” 

Through a partnership with Saenz pharmacy, Vanguard Academy received nearly 1200 doses of the Pfizer vaccine. 

Farmworkers: Counted as essential for the food supply but not for COVID-19 vaccines

Wanting to serve the vulnerable population of migrant workers, they reached out to local organizations that work with this community – including LUPE and today welcomed 700 farm and migrant workers into its gym to receive the first dose of protection. 

“Our farm workers are the ones who put food on the table, not just here locally but around the nation,” Vanguard Superintendent Dr. Narciso Garcias said. “Often, this population of people are overlooked.” 

He says for them time is of the essence. 

“Our farmworkers in a month or two, if they haven’t already, are going to start migrating up north to different states — Ohio, Minnesota, Indiana, Idaho, Washington state,” Garcias said. 

As a member of EVAP– the Expert Vaccine Allotment Panel – Sen. Eddie Lucio Jr. has pushed for the prioritization of this group. 

“It’s active holy week and it’s a time for us to thank the people who are in the front lines and those who make it possible for us to get the Lord’s bounty,” Lucio said. “It’s a good day for us to show our thanksgiving to those people who make a difference in our society.” 

Dr. Garcia adds they expect to receive more doses in the future and will continue to focus on helping migrant workers. 

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The additional 400 doses went to vanguard staff and their family who hasn’t yet received it, bringing the staff to 90 to 100% vaccinated according to Dr. Garcia. 

The second dose will be given out on April 24. 

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