22,000 Moderna vaccines bound for Valley

Vaccination rollout to begin as more virus deaths, cases added

More than 22,000 doses of the most recently approved COVID-19 vaccine made by Moderna will be shipped to the Rio Grande Valley this week.

Most of the doses, 15,300 of them, will be sent to Hidalgo County locations, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services, while Cameron County is set to receive 6,600, and Starr County 700.

One of the first shipments arrived at the Rio Grande State Center in Harlingen on Wednesday. The hospital received 600 vaccines, which will be distributed to healthcare staff on a voluntary basis.

The arrival of the 22,600 doses of Moderna’s vaccines comes after the Valley received 14,625 doses from Pfizer BioNTech last week.

This was announced on the same day officials in Hidalgo County confirmed four more deaths linked to COVID-19, bringing the death toll to 2,168.

Additionally, 340 new cases were reported, of which 140 are confirmed, 197 probably and three suspected.

The total case count in the county is now 49,348.

Also on Wednesday, 360 people were confirmed to have recovered from the virus, leaving 2,516 active cases.

There are currently 289 people with COVID-19 being cared for in local hospitals, of which 104 are in intensive care units.

So far, the county has administered 295,796 virus tests, of which 245,768 have come back negative.

Neighboring Cameron County confirmed four additional COVID-19 related deaths on Wednesday, along with 135 new cases of the virus.

Of the new cases there, 58 are from Harlingen.

County officials also announced that 146 people recovered from the virus, raising the total number of recoveries to 25,093.

The death toll there now stands at 1,172, and the total cases is 25,093, according to a county release.

Starr County reported 23 new cases of the virus, raising the total active cases there to 562.

So far, 4,515 people have recovered from the virus in Starr County, and 197 have died because of it.

Willacy County confirmed eight new cases of the virus on Wednesday, making the total count there 1,543, according to county Judge Aurelio “Keter” Guerra in a news release.