Gateway Community Health Center increases COVID-19 vaccine effort – Laredo Morning Times

Students Kyle Ramirez and Chloe Morales join Kaleb Ramirez as he gets his COVID-19 vaccine May 14, 2021 at Shirley Field during a vaccination drive for students.
COVID-19 vaccination efforts are receiving extra emphasis as Rep. Henry Cuellar announced over $300,000 in funding for Gateway Community Health Center Inc. toward that goal in Webb County, Zapata County and Jim Hogg County.
“The Gateway Community Health Center has played a vital role in helping our community bounce back from the COVID-19 pandemic,” Cuellar said. “This federal funding will allow Gateway to continue reaching, vaccinating and protecting the most vulnerable people in South Texas by working with organizations that are trusted by our community. I want to thank Gateway Community Health Center Inc. CEO Elmo Lopez Jr. and the rest of his staff for once again leading the fight against COVID.”
Gateway Community Health Center received $310,873 from the Department of Health and Human Services through its Health Resources and Service Administration. It is part of $350 million being distributed to health centers nationwide.
The funding will be used to administer updated COVID-19 vaccines by using mobile, drive-up and walk-up vaccine clinics along with providing them at community vaccination events and other methods.
“This important grant, thanks to Henry Cuellar, will provide funding to help Gateway Community Health Center increase access to, confidence in, and address demand for updated COVID-19 vaccines for all citizens of Laredo, Zapata, and Hebbronville, Texas,” Lopez said. “COVID-19 is still a major infectious disease, and this funding will help us decrease the severity of this virus.”
With updated bivalent boosters, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending anyone 5 years and older who has not received a vaccine dose in at least two months to get the booster. For initial doses, the CDC on Dec. 9 expanded the use of the updated bivalent COVID-19 vaccines to include children ranging from 6 months to 5 years old. This came after expanding to people 12 and older on Sept. 2 and people 5-11 years old on Oct. 12.
For additional vaccine information, visit
Jason Mack is the Deputy Editor at the Laredo Morning Times