Attendees of the clinic held on Friday at the Port Isabel High School wait and are monitored for 15 to 30 minutes after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. By Alana Hernandez, Valley Morning Star

PORT ISABEL — Hundreds more are on track of protecting themselves from the deadly coronavirus pandemic.

A vaccination clinic was held in Port Isabel on Friday for residents and winter visitors of the Laguna Madre area who are 65 and older, as well as for all of Point Isabel ISD’s employees.

The vaccination site was staffed by personnel from the school district, the cities of Laguna Vista, Port Isabel and South Padre Island, as well as Cameron County.

According to Point Isabel ISD Superintendent of Schools Theresa Ann Capistran, 400 vaccines were distributed to the community and school district employees.

On Thursday, Capistran received a call from Cameron County informing the school district that they had vaccines available for all of their employees that had not yet received the vaccine.

She said when she received the call, she literally started happy dancing because receiving the vaccines is something the employees had been asking for.

“We are so excited to be able to provide this vaccine to our employees who are with our students every day,” she said. “Employees this morning have come in just so relieved knowing that they’re able to receive this, so it’s a great day.”

Point Isabel ISD nurses administering COVID-19 vaccinations to school district employees. By Alana Hernandez, Valley Morning Star

Eva Gonzalez, a paraprofessional at the Port Isabel Junior High School, said she felt ready to receive the vaccine, but also a bit nervous because she wasn’t sure if it was going to hurt.

“Once it happened, I was good to go,” she said. “I have a sense of relief, especially because we work at a school so we’re in and out of classrooms and always working with kids then, you go home, you have kids, family and elderly parents so it is a huge sense of relief.”

Cynthia Sierra, a pre-kindergarten teacher at Garriga Elementary, said she felt very happy and thankful school district employees had the opportunity to get the vaccine.

“I feel more relieved,” she said. “There’s peace of mind. I look forward to getting my second dose.”

Sierra said she teaches remotely and in-person at the same time.

“I’m not sure when that will come to an end, but between now and then, just knowing that I got the vaccine, I think I’ll be a little more strong, energetic and have one less thing to worry about in general,” she said.