Raymondville ISD becomes vaccine hub, pushes COVID-19 vaccination efforts in Willacy County
Just over a month ago, the Raymondville Independent School District became Willacy County's COVID-19 vaccination distribution hub.
While the district got off to a late start, the number of vaccinated is not far behind other counties in the Rio Grande Valley.
In an all-out effort to bring more vaccines to the county, Raymondville ISD Deputy Superintendent Benjamin Clinton said city, county, and school district leadership got together and pushed the state for more vaccines.
"In that push, they told us that the way the county would get more [vaccines] was if somebody enrolled to become a provider," Clinton said.
The district officially became a COVID-19 distribution hub on March 1, more than a month after other hubs in Hidalgo and Cameron County were approved. Since then, the district has been holding vaccine clinics almost every week.
"This was, really, just the vision of our superintendent," Clinton said. "Wanting to get these doses in and [making] sure that we do everything we can for our community to reach herd immunity. So that we can cut the COVID death rate to zero."
According to data from the Texas Department of State Health Services, about 28% of Willacy County residents over 16 years old are fully vaccinated-- compared to about 25% in Hidalgo and 26% in Cameron County.
While Willacy County's population is considerably smaller than Cameron and Hidalgo's, Clinton said it still shows that the efforts to vaccinate the community are paying off.
"People are still wanting to get their shots and we're encouraging people," Clinton said. "We're letting people know that it's available to every adult."
On Friday, the district will hold a vaccination clinic to administer 1,500 first doses of the Moderna vaccine-- drive-thru style to anyone 18 years and older.
After Friday, Raymondville ISD will surpass 9,000 doses administered since becoming a distribution hub.
To register for Friday's clinic, call (956) 698-8175 or click here to register online.
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