Texas superintendent has no qualms about urging vaccinations
Superintendent Mario H. Salinas doesn’t hesitate when asked if he’s encouraging Edinburg Consolidated ISD students, parents and staff to get vaccinated against COVID.
He also believes his south Texas district was one of the first to vaccinate all staff members who wanted a shot. He estimates that about 90 percent of staff did so.
Unfortunately, one district employee who declined the vaccine recently contracted COVID and passed away, Salinas said.
“We are actively encouraging parents, students, and staff to get vaccinated,” Salinas says. “The vaccines are safe.”
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The district, which serves about 33,000s students near the Mexican border, is using its large staff of about 60 registered nurses to conduct vaccine drives for students and their families on and off school campuses.
The district has used a football stadium to host a vaccine drive but is also bringing shots out to families in its more rural communities.
“Some of our parents live 20 to 30 miles away from the city and may not have the resources to come into town to get vaccinated, so, we took our clinics out to them,” he says. “We are spending a lot of time trying to vaccinate the community in an effort to try to save lives, get back to normal and get student back in classrooms.”
There are 500 doses available to receive the FREE Pfizer vaccine TODAY at our First Dose COVID-19 Community Vaccine Clinic at the Richard R. Flores Stadium.
— Edinburg CISD (@Edinburgcisd) May 21, 2021
The district has been focused on vaccinating high school students and now middle school students since the Pfizer vaccine was approved for everyone 12 and older.
Salinas says he touts the effectiveness of vaccines on weekly podcasts during which he also stresses the safety precautions the district is taking in its classrooms.
The vaccination message is also spread on Edinburg CISD’s social media channels.
Salinas estimates about 2,000 students were vaccinated by the district on Friday.
“We have learning loss across the board,” he says. “Vaccinating children is the first step back to normal and the first step to recovering learning loss.”