City of Brownsville touts vaccine initiative after lowering COVID threat level

1 year 5 months 3 weeks ago Thursday, October 07 2021 Oct 7, 2021 October 07, 2021 9:31 AM October 07, 2021 in News - Local

Brownsville city officials say their vaccine initiative played a big part in lowering the city’s COVID-19 threat level from significant to moderate on Tuesday.

But one vaccine clinic in particular has helped get shots in arms not only to citizens, but migrants as well.

RELATED: City of Brownsville lowers threat level matrix to Level 2

City officials set up a vaccine clinic at La Plaza terminal because there’s a lot of foot traffic in that area, saying they have vaccinated more than 2,000 people at that site since June. 

“So, we do offer the vaccine for migrants getting dropped off by our Homeland Security and we also get traffic from the community who are using public transportation,” said Felipe Romero, a spokesperson for the city of Brownsville.

The current vaccine being offered at the site is the Johnson & Johnson, which is provided by the state. But they also offer the Pfizer for children 12 through 17 years old.

Brownsville Public Health Director Dr. Arturo Rodriguez says this type of site has helped contribute to the lower amount of hospitalizations in Brownsville.

“When you take all those factors: the hospitalization numbers, the numbers of tests per week and the reported positive cases by the county health department— we know where we’re at a point where we can go from a Level 3 to a Level 2.”

Dr. Rodriguez says migrants are tested and are offered the vaccine, adding that the positive rates among migrants are lower than the positive rate seen in the community. 

“We want to make it clear, there’s never been a threat through the migrants," Dr. Rodriguez said. "Many of the migrants have actually had a lower rate of infections than has been out in the community."

City officials stress that even though the threat level has been lowered to moderate, it doesn't mean the pandemic is over and continues to encourage people to be vigilant when it comes to mask wearing and social distancing.

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