Edinburg, Texas (KVEO)—The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley received its first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine and will start vaccinating on Tuesday afternoon.
During a virtual press conference, Dr. John H. Krouse, dean of the UTRGV School of Medicine and executive vice president for Health Affairs, said medical officials will be doing 12 hour shifts for the rest of the week to ensure that frontline healthcare workers are receiving the vaccine.
“We will begin to prioritize our own staff, faculty, physicians, nurses, those people who work in the hospital settings first,” said Krouse. “For those individuals to be able to more safely take care of patients who do have the COVID-19 virus, as they come across them.”
Krause said the university has almost 300 residents and fellows who work in hospitals across the Rio Grande Valley, who take care of patients with COVID-19 daily. Those individuals will be getting the vaccine in the first round.
“We have students in the university who take care of patients in the hospital with COVID and without those students being able to pitch in and help and take care of those patients it would be much more challenging, given the fact that the workforce can be very restricted in a time of a crisis,” said Krouse.
Krouse highlighted the importance of remaining patient, he said the vaccine will be distributed in an equitable manner based upon state and federal guidelines and that it is important to continue to be vigilant.
“Practice good healthcare, to continue to wear masks any time you are in public. Continue to avoid large congregations. Continue to socially distance and to continue to practice good hygiene, hand hygiene, washing your hands. All of these things will remain critical until we get a substantial portion of the population vaccinated,” said Krouse.
Krause says a substantial portion of the population will get vaccinated in 2021.
Watch the complete press conference here: