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City continues discussion of prioritizing vaccinating school employees

At Monday night’s council meeting, several efforts were agreed upon by members that will target groups in need and hopefully ease the public’s frustration.
Published: Feb. 23, 2021 at 10:43 PM CST
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LAREDO, Tex. (KGNS) - The City of Laredo is still working out the process of distributing and allocating vaccines.

At Monday night’s council meeting, several efforts were agreed upon by members that will target groups in need and hopefully ease the public’s frustration.

Monday night, four vaccine related agenda items were passed unanimously.

The first was to petition the state to allow the city to prioritize the immunization of public, charter, and private school employees, teachers, and auxiliary staff 65 and older and those with underlying health conditions.

They hope to immunize qualifying individuals before districts start receive their allocations.

”The Laredo Independent School District has already acquired their approved COVID-19 vaccine provider status, and we are pending United ISD to receive theirs,” said Richard Chamberlain. “In the future of course with larger allocations coming into they will be getting their own vaccine allocation.”

The second directive was to send a resolution to the federal government that expresses the city’s discontent with the allotment process the state has in place.

Some council members claim there’s a disparity compared to communities of similar size.

”Take into consideration Smith County with a population less than Webb County at 233,000, and yet again we see the disparity of allocations,” said Alberto Torres, Jr. “Having received 40,250 vaccines about 40 percent more than Webb County with a population 83 percent of its size.”

The Webb County Democratic party and Texas Democratic party also passed a similar resolution.

Aside from these efforts, council requested that data be gathered on a wait list registration process that other communities are doing.

District 7 councilwoman Vanessa Perez says many citizens are frustrated with the current system.

”I’m going to make a motion for us to consult with the city of El Paso on their program that they currently have, and to see if there is any way we can implement some of the things that are working for them in our city.”

Lastly, District 8 councilwoman Alyssa Cigarroa requested that more outreach be done.

”I would like to motion that we direct management along with the EOC to develop a plan for individuals in our community who do not have access to internet or telephone services. To register for vaccine appointments.”

The goal is to establish registration venues at community centers, churches, WIC locations or anywhere senior citizens frequent.

Also, to create a database that community volunteers can utilize to do knock and talks to get more people registered.

City staff will be coming back to council on what research they have found on what was being requested.

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