Curative to help administer vaccines

City Manager Robert Eads assured that they would continue prioritizing those who are 65 years and older.
Published: Feb. 23, 2021 at 10:58 PM CST
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LAREDO, Tex. (KGNS) - Sixty-six providers currently administer the COVID-19 vaccine in Laredo, but there could be a 67th to facilitate a mass vaccination site.

The city of Laredo has agreed to partner with Curative to assist with administering vaccines on a larger scale.

Curative is a company that has offered free COVID-19 testing in Laredo and other cities across the United States.

“We still have health department officials, we still have nurses who are volunteering, but we need something that is more permanent that we can count on on a weekly basis,” said City Manager Robert Eads. “We’re just adding that as part of our abilities with Curative.”

The announcement didn’t go without skepticism.

District 2 Councilmember Vidal Rodriguez had concerns.

“How are they going to go about administering the vaccine, setting up appointments? Is it by phone call? What is their priority?” Rodriguez said. “The system we had in place was working, so I don’t want to take one step forward and two steps back.”

City officials are still hashing out the details on how they would register the population and whether it would be an online or a phone system.

But Eads assured that they would continue prioritizing those who are 65 years and older.

“That’s not to say that Curative is going to take over our vaccination process, not at all. What we’re trying to do is bring them in as a partner to assist... and get that more consistent basis,” Eads said.

Officials say enlisting Curative’s help will bring no cost to the city or residents because Curative will bill an administration fee to the person’s insurance company or the federal government if the person has no insurance.

Another concern Council member Rodriguez had was whether or not the federal government would reduce the vaccination resources if they are the ones bearing the cost.

Laredo’s Health Director Richard Chamberlain pointed to other cities with similar practices, saying that partnering with Curative would not affect the assistance the city receives from the federal government.

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