More than 200 students get COVID vaccine on Day 1 of Vaccinate Before You Graduate clinics

Two hundred students got their first jab of the COVID-19 vaccine Monday afternoon at the El Paso High at EPISD’s first of 10 “Vaccinate before you Graduate” clinics in partnership with Immunize El Paso.

“This is a huge opportunity to make everyone feel healthy and safe in our community and in our schools when we return in the fall,” said Alana Bejarano, director of health services. “It’s a huge endeavor to vaccinate as many of our students as possible but as soon as we reach herd immunity, it’s going to be so much better in reducing our COVID-19 cases.”

The high school campus saw an overwhelming response to the campaign with students from feeder campuses joining their high school counterparts to get their first of two COVID-19.

As of Thursday, children 12 to 15 became eligible to receive the Pfizer vaccine, previously only available to those age 16 and up.

The other nine clinics will continue at each traditional high school through May 28. Registration is required – walk-ins will be turned away. Go to to register.

EPISD students and their families can register for any clinic that still has available appointments. The clinics with openings are:

  • Irvin High on May 19.
  • Austin High on May 20
  • Burges High on May 21
  • Andress High on May 24
  • Franklin High on May 25
  • Coronado High on May 26
  • Jefferson/Silva High on May 27; and
  • Bowie High on May 28

Junior Edgar Ramirez stood waiting on the gym bleachers for his turn to get his shot.

“It was easy to come since I go to school here,” he said. “Everyone should get the vaccine for their safety.”

Patricia Chavez, mom to a Wiggs Middle School seventh grader, was among the first in the line to get her daughter vaccinated.

“We’re here just to be safe,” she said. “It helps the community not just for the teachers but the students as well.”

Senior Renette Rodriguez didn’t even flinch when she got her shot. She confesses that getting the shot wasn’t her idea – her mom and her brother got it – but she was ultimately glad to get her first dose.

“It means I will be healthy,” she said.

Principal Mark Paz stood in the gym, happy answering questions and directing students to vaccine lines.

“This means we’re almost back into the building to our traditional school experience,” he said. “That’s exciting to me because many more family members are safe and don’t have to worry about getting sick. This has been a great opportunity to see how our community is anxious to return to life pre-COVID.”

Story by Reneé de Santos  |  Photos by Leonel Monroy – El Paso ISD