Harlingen, Texas (KVEO)—As COVID-19 vaccines become available, The Texas Department of State Health Services decides which providers get the vaccine and how many doses. The State Health Commission receives guidance from the State’s Expert Vaccine Allotment Panel.
EVAP is made up of four state legislators and medical experts, who send recommendations to the State Health Commission on how the vaccines should be distributed.
The panel is in charge of developing and applying principles for distributing the vaccine.
State Senator Eddie Lucio Jr. is one of the four legislators who sit on the panel. Senator Lucio says they want to make sure the vaccine is given out to the most vulnerable first, but he has a concern with unused vaccines in the Rio Grande Valley.
“I’m told in the first turnout there was a 70 percent turnout, and I wonder why the other 30 (percent) did not take it. I don’t have the information of why they didn’t take it. They might have been afraid of it, they don’t agree with it, they feel they can do without it.” Lucio said.
Lucio said the vaccines are not a mandate, but has concerns about frontline workers who decide not to take the vaccine.
“People obviously do not have to take it but my suggestion especially for those in the front lines, would be if your not going to take the vaccine, then you really don’t belong in the front lines, because you are subject to getting infected and spreading that.” said Lucio
“If they are infected and they get others sick, who are going to replace them?” said Lucio.
Lucio adds he is hoping for a stronger turnout for those who are suppose to be taking the vaccine, when it is made available.
This week nearly 7,000 vaccines are expected to arrive in Hidalgo, Cameron, and Wilacy Counties. The State’s Health Departments Website has a map which shows which providers have received vaccines as well as how many doses providers receive on a weekly basis.