Almost 150 younger folks from Baja California arrived Thursday on the Mexican Consulate in San Diego to obtain their first COVID-19 vaccine dose.
The hassle is a part of a cross-border pilot undertaking that began earlier this month to increase entry to the vaccine within the San Diego-Tijuana area.
“Well being has no borders, and we all know the interdependence we have now in our area, and for me, it is rather essential that every part potential is finished to ensure our younger persons are protected,” Supervisor Nora Vargas stated throughout this system’s launching ceremony on the Tijuana Cultural Heart, Cecut.
The youths, starting from 12 to 18, have been taken by bus from Tijuana to the Mexican Consulate in Little Italy to obtain Pfizer doses that have been donated by the San Diego County Well being and Human Companies Company.
“We dwell and work on each side of the border,” stated Barbara Jiménez, neighborhood operations officer with the company. “We’re targeted on the well being of our complete binational area.”
A primary group acquired photographs Nov. 4; a 3rd group is scheduled to be vaccinated Dec. 2. The objective is to vaccinate about 450 youngsters from Baja California.
The kids have been chosen by a coalition of nonprofits, such because the Boys & Women Membership of Tijuana, Tijuana Innovadora and different organizations. All of them had vacationer visas and have been vetted by U.S. Customs and Border Safety.
Aimé Giles accompanied her daughter and nephew. “Perhaps we may have gotten the shot in our country, however it will have taken longer,” she stated.
Her nephew, Diego Hurtado, 14, stated he was grateful for the chance to be vaccinated, on condition that vaccination isn’t but open to folks his age in Mexico. “It’s a privilege as a result of again residence, we want to get vaccinated. Now we really feel safer leaving the home.”
He added that he now feels extra snug about visiting his grandparents and uncles.
The group will return in three weeks for the second shot.
Whereas vaccinations in San Diego County are open for youngsters 5 and older, Baja California is making ready to begin vaccination for youngsters ages 15 to 17 on Monday.
Final month, Baja California well being authorities offered vaccines for youths ages 12 to 17 with underlying well being situations.
Carlos González Gutiérrez, consul common of Mexico in San Diego, stated he hopes that efforts such because the cross-border program will assist shut the vaccination hole on each side of the border.
“In Mexico, there may be nonetheless a gaggle lagging, particularly these below 18 years of age. We significantly admire this donation by the county that permits us to deliver younger folks to be vaccinated on the consulate.”
Tijuana Mayor Montserrat Caballero additionally praised the help from their neighbors and hoped that the vaccination plan in Mexico could be expanded to incorporate youngsters and youngsters.
That is the second cross-border vaccination program of its form on the San Diego-Tijuana border. In Could, an identical effort was performed throughout which almost 26,000 maquiladora employees have been vaccinated on the San Ysidro border crossing.
With the recent reopening of the U.S.-Mexico land border to nonessential journey, there have additionally been dad and mom who’ve come to the U.S. to vaccinate their youngsters on their very own.
Elsy Lopez, a Tijuana resident, did in order quickly as quickly as she had the chance. She stated her largest concern was that her baby would return to highschool unvaccinated as a result of vaccines for youngsters take longer in Mexico.
“It was my precedence to cross and vaccinate him,” she stated. ” I didn’t hesitate for a second.”
López stated her 10-year-old son was continuously asking her about when it will be his flip. He was the one one in her household who had but to be vaccinated.
Baja California’s secretary of well being, José Adrián Medina, stated he understands why dad and mom are crossing the border to get their youngsters vaccinated.
“I’d do it for my youngsters too if I didn’t have entry to the vaccine,” he stated, noting that Mexico should proceed to work to advance its personal vaccination plan.