By Gaige Davila
At least a hundred Port Isabel High School students were vaccinated for COVID-19 this past Wednesday, becoming the latest age group to receive the vaccine in the Laguna Madre area.
At least 150 high schoolers were vaccinated, the first group of recurring clinics specifically aimed for the 16-and-older age group. Pharmaceutical industry company Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine is the only one authorized for 16-and-older people, under the Food & Drug Administration’s Emergency Use Authorization.
The vaccines were provided by The Medicine Shoppe, operated by Head Pharmacist Thomas Garza, son of Cameron County Commissioner and The Medicine Shoppe founder David Garza.
“Kids need to get vaccinated,” David Garza told the PRESS. “The kids that are 16-and-above, as soon as school is over, will be everywhere. They’ll be working, they’ll be amongst people, we need to protect them.”
“We saw (the Pfizer vaccine) as an opportunity to target that age group as well,” Thomas Garza told the PRESS. “The county clinics have been Moderna, and a lot of the other vaccine clinics have been Moderna, so people don’t want to touch Pfizer because it’s harder to store.”
Thomas Garza said the availability of the Pfizer vaccine allows for The Medicine Shoppe to provide vaccines for school districts and areas in addition to already-scheduled vaccine clinics hosted by the county. David Garza said The Medicine Shoppe has provided Pfizer vaccines to IDEA Public Schools in Brownsville and Los Fresnos CISD previously, in an effort to cover the lower Cameron County.
“It’s worked out well so far,” David Garza said, referring to the smaller clinics The Medicine Shoppe has provided Pfizer vaccines for.
“We’re very fortunate to have great partners in our community and in this case our medical community,” PI-ISD Superintendent Theresa Cpaistran told the PRESS at the vaccine clinic. “Our parents feel much more comfortable coming to a school, their students are here, they’re coming to something that is very familiar to them to receive a vaccine.”
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