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County schedules COVID-19 vaccine clinic in San Juan

EDINBURG – Hidalgo County health officials, in conjunction with Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ISD, will be hosting a community COVID-19 vaccine clinic on Wednesday and Thursday, Hidalgo County Judge Richard F. Cortez said.

The clinic will be held at PSJA Early College High School (Bears), at 805 W. Ridge Road in San Juan. Officials will begin administering the Moderna vaccinations on Wednesday, January 13, beginning at 8 a.m. on a first come, first served basis to eligible persons. Vaccines will also be available at the same location on Thursday, January 14. Since there is still a limited number of doses available, the clinic will run until vaccinations are depleted.

“Hidalgo County residents have shown tremendous support for getting vaccinated and we have gained the attention of state officials,” said Judge Cortez. “They have made Hidalgo County a statewide hub for vaccines as new doses become available. This means that Hidalgo County will be getting significant doses as they become available.”

Hidalgo County will be following state protocol that targets healthcare workers. These workers will be asked to provide proof that they are in the healthcare industry.

This week’s clinic also is intended for anyone born before 1955 and are now 65 years or older. In addition, people aged 18 and older with certain medical conditions are eligible to be vaccinated with the advice of their doctors.

Based on previous vaccine clinics held at the eastern and western end of the county, health officials are advising the following:

• Bring ID and proof of medical condition (current medication, a prescription from their doctor)

• Clearance letter from their physician recommended

• People are encouraged to bring water and snacks

• There will be extended periods of waiting and sitting

• Children 18 and under should not be in the clinic.

Vaccine seekers with mobility concerns may have one adult accompany them for help.

More information, including a form that can be printed and prefilled, is available on the Hidalgo County website at coronavirusupdates under the tab labeled “Vaccination Info.”

The following is the state definition for healthcare workers who are eligible for vaccinations on Thursday:

First Tier

1. Paid and unpaid workers in hospital settings working directly with patients who are positive or at high risk for COVID-19. Such as but not limited to:

a. Physicians, nurses, respiratory therapists and other support staff (custodial staff, etc.)

b. Additional clinical staff providing supporting laboratory, pharmacy, diagnostic and/or rehabilitation services

c. Others having direct contact with patients or infectious materials;

2. Long-term care staff working directly with vulnerable residents. Includes:

a. Direct care providers at nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and state supported living centers

b. Physicians, nurses, personal care assistants, custodial, food service staff;

3. EMS providers who engage in 9-1-1 emergency services like pre-hospital care and transport;

4. Home health care workers, including hospice care, who directly interface with vulnerable and high-risk patients;

5. Residents of long-term care facilities.

Second Tier

1. Staff working in outpatient care settings who interact with symptomatic patients. Such as but not limited to:

a. Physicians, nurses, and other support staff (custodial staff, etc.)

b. Clinical staff providing diagnostic, laboratory, and/ or rehabilitation services

c. Non 9-1-1 transport for routine care

d. Healthcare workers in corrections and detention facilities;

2. Direct care staff in freestanding emergency medical care facilities and urgent care clinics;

3. Community pharmacy staff who may provide direct services to clients, including vaccination or testing for individuals who may have COVID;

4. Public health and emergency response staff directly involved in administration of COVID testing and vaccinations;

5. Last responders who provide mortuary or death services to decedents with COVID-19. Includes:

a. Embalmers and funeral home workers who have direct contact with decedents

b. Medical examiners and other medical certifiers who have direct contact with decedents;

6. School nurses who provide health care to students and teachers.

Also eligible for vaccines on Wednesday and Thursday under state protocol are:

1. People 65 years of age and older;

2. People 18 years of age and older with at least one chronic medical condition that puts them at increased risk for severe illness from the virus that causes COVID-19, such as but not limited to:

• Cancer

• Chronic kidney disease

• COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)

• Heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease or cardiomyopathies

• Solid organ transplantation

• Obesity and severe obesity (body mass index of 30 kg/m2 or higher)

• Pregnancy

• Sickle cell disease

• Type 2 diabetes mellitus.

These recipients are strongly encouraged to consult with and secure permission from their respective doctors to receive the vaccinations.

Press release courtesy of Hidalgo County.

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