SAN DIEGO — 1000’s of maquiladora staff employed in Baja California by U.S. subsidiary firms shall be vaccinated in opposition to COVID-19 as a part of a first-of-its-kind cross-border pilot program introduced this week.
“That is the primary cross-border settlement that now we have that goals to attempt to equalize vaccination charges on the northern border, particularly in cities which have larger interconnection, akin to Tijuana and San Diego,” Marcelo Ebrard, Mexico’s ministry of overseas relations, mentioned Tuesday.
The pilot program, which began Monday, is a partnership between San Diego County; the Mexican Consulate; the College of California, San Diego Well being; and 6 U.S.-owned firms.
The vaccine was provided by the state of California on the request of the county, officers mentioned.
As much as 10,000 Johnson & Johnson doses shall be administered in a seven-nonconsecutive-day span by medical personnel from UCSD on the San Ysidro border crossing.
Maquiladora staff in Baja California are taken by bus to the border close to the PedWest crossing the place they obtain the vaccine. They’re monitored earlier than they’re taken again.
If this system succeeds, it could possibly be expanded, authorities mentioned.
“For years, the San Diego-Tijuana border area has been a profitable mannequin of binational cooperation,” Mexican Consul Carlos González Gutierrez mentioned at a information convention.
“Native leaders within the area have at all times demonstrated that considering outdoors the field is critical to beat tough challenges, and the COVID-19 pandemic isn’t any exception”.
The collaborating firms — Poly, Compañía Embotelladora del Fuerte-Coca Cola, Jacuzzi, Flex, Calle Middle Companies Worldwide-CCSI and Sempra-IEnova — will cowl all prices related to the vaccines, officers mentioned.
There are round 1,000 maquiladoras working in Baja California, about half of that are U.S.-owned, mentioned Luis Manuel Hernández, president of the maquiladora affiliation, INDEX.
In whole, maquiladora crops in Baja California make use of round 420,000 individuals, he added.
As of Tuesday, round 68% of San Diego County residents had acquired not less than one COVID-19 vaccine, in keeping with knowledge from the San Diego County Well being and Human Companies Company.
In Baja California, vaccination is at present out there for individuals over 50, well being and training personnel, in addition to pregnant girls. Almost 850,000 doses have been administrated per statistics from the State’s Secretary of Well being.
Hernández famous that the ages of most maquiladora staff vary from 20 to 35 years outdated.
With this partnership, authorities from either side of the border additionally search to spice up the border’s financial reactivation.
“We began, six to eight months in the past, speaking to the personal sector on assist our individuals with their well being and the economic system of our state. We now have to speed up the tempo of restoration from this pandemic as a result of our well being and our economic system are hurting,” Luis Lutteroth, president of the Tijuana’s Improvement Council, mentioned in a launch.
The U.S. Division of Homeland Safety lately prolonged restrictions on nonessential journey on the U.S.-Mexico land border for not less than yet one more month. Cross-border commerce has not been affected by this measure, as it’s thought of important.
Mexican officers introduced they’re in talks with the U.S. to ease restrictions “primarily based on the COVID-19 unfold charge and on the variety of vaccines utilized on either side of the border.”
San Diego County Supervisor Nora Vargas mentioned this program advantages either side of the border as a result of by aiding one neighborhood in want, each are being helped.
“We now have usually mentioned that well being care has no borders,” Vargas mentioned. “Our communities within the South Bay have been immediately impacted by the truth that we not have our communities from Tijuana coming throughout the border.”
“We’re going to guarantee that all San Diegans have entry to vaccines, but in addition we’re going to be good neighbors and be sure that our binational area is taking good care of, as a result of that is what’s neighborhood is all about,” Vargas mentioned.