Willacy County awaits first vaccine shipment

RAYMONDVILLE — A week after his vaccination, Police Chief Uvaldo Zamora is waiting for most of his officers to take the vaccine to protect them against the coronavirus. Meanwhile, health officials here were awaiting Willacy County’s first shipment of 200 doses of the Moderna vaccine, Frank Torres, the county’s emergency management coordinator, said Tuesday.

“We’re on the list to receive the medication,” Torres said. “Exactly when it gets here depends on when it’s shipped by the manufacturer.”

On Dec. 30, Zamora and six of his officers drove to Harlingen Medical Center to take their vaccines. But most of his staff declined vaccination, he said.

“They’re kind of scared of the side effects so they are waiting a little longer,” Zamora said Tuesday.

At City Hall, City Manager Eleazar Garcia said he expects the remainder of the police department’s staff to become vaccinated.

“More people will take the vaccine as time goes by,” Garcia said. “It’ll be more the norm.”

Zamora said five members of his staff who took the vaccine complained of side effects.

“They complained of nausea, aching muscles and bones, headaches — nothing major,” said Zamora, who added he didn’t feel side effects. “Within a couple of hours, it’s OK.”

On Jan. 27, he and his six staffers expect to take the vaccine’s second round, Zamora said, referring to the second and final shot. As the nation rolls out the coronavirus vaccine, government health officials have placed first responders such as police officers near the top of the list of those first scheduled to become vaccinated.