PORT ISABEL — Hundreds of residents and Winter Texans in the Laguna Madre area received a COVID-19 vaccination on Friday.

An allocation of 500 vaccine doses by Cameron County was divided among Laguna Vista, Port Isabel and South Padre Island for people aged 65 and older.

The cities and county held the mass vaccination clinic in conjunction with the Point Isabel Independent School District.

“We try to make this as easy as possible so they go from one station to another,” Superintendent of Schools Theresa A. Capistran said. “The majority of folks are not familiar with coming into our building so we try to put a system in place to ensure that we make this as easy as possible.”

Participants were asked by officials not to arrive prior to their scheduled vaccination window.

To alleviate traffic congestion, color-coded vouchers were designated for morning and afternoon sessions.

Port Isabel resident Elvia Martinez Barbarena received the vaccine during an afternoon session.

Barbarena said when she found out that she was selected to receive the vaccine she wanted to cry because of how happy she felt.

“I feel like I’m going to be safe now,” she said. “I’ve been waiting for so long to get it to be able to see my daughter. I haven’t seen her in a whole year and a half.”

Barbarena admits, when she was getting out of her car, she felt a little bit nervous.

“I wasn’t sure what was going to happen, but now that it happened, it’s safe,” she said. “Go out and get it for the safety of yourself, the community and people around the world so we can be able to get back to normal.”

The area’s first vaccination clinic received an allocation of 300 vaccine doses by Cameron County and was held on Feb. 4.

“This is our second vaccine clinic that we host and I’m very proud to say that the team did a great job with the first go-round that the county is trusting us enough to say OK you can have another one and we’re increasing the number of vaccines available,” Capistran said.

According to Port Isabel city officials, it is anticipated that additional clinics will be held in the weeks to come.

Each city conducts registration and distributes vouchers for vaccination clinics to those who have registered.

To register with the Town of Laguna Vista, email [email protected] or call (956) 943-1793. Individuals are chosen by a lottery system and contacted by phone or email.

To register with the City of Port Isabel, visit www.myportisabel.com or call (956) 943-2682.

Residents of Laguna Heights are also able to register with the City of Port Isabel.

Winter Texans are asked to register in the community they’re staying in and indicate their local address.

When vouchers are distributed, instructions are given regarding the vaccination site.