HIDALGO, Texas (ValleyCentral) — On Wednesday, three Rio Grande Valley mayors and the governor of Nuevo Leon announced a new partnership at the McAllen-Hidalgo International Bridge & Anzalduas International Bridge in efforts to vaccinate Mexican maquiladoras workers.
“Look, if the economy fails then we all go down,” said McAllen Mayor Javier Villalobos, referring to the automotive trade and other industries that come across the Anzalduas International Bridge.
In the city of Hidalgo, the Governor of the Mexican state of Nuevo Leon, Samuel Garcia joined the mayors of Hidalgo, Mission, and McAllen to officially announce a bi-national vaccination program to strengthen the economy using the Moderna vaccine.
“Today we want to send a message to Mexico, to Nuevo Leon, that this reactivation is a mutual agreement, to reopen the borders,” said Garcia.
According to officials, the plan is to bus over workers to be vaccinated on the U.S. side where they will receive their first dose, then be sent back where they will receive their second dose.
“The route will be to Hidalgo where they will be vaccinated and sent back to Nuevo Leon, so it is something that is a bi-national effort,” said Juan Olaguibel, Superintendent of McAllen-Hidalgo International Bridge & Anzalduas International Bridge.
According to Olaguibel, they were able to make these arrangements within a week’s time with thousands of vaccination doses already secured.
“We have secured 10,000 Moderna vaccines that will guarantee the administration of 1,000 vaccines within the next two weeks,” said Garcia.
Officials also said that Customs and Border Protection are working in conjunction with the local and international entities to make this possible.
Olaguibel added that Index, a company that represents the Maquiladora industry in Nuevo Leon, is a big part of making this possible.
“They will be busing people from the industry, thanks to Cecilia [Carrillo Lopez] from Index she is the president of Index,” said Olaguibel.
Mayor Villalobos said that the overall goal is to support economic growth for essential workers.
“It’s a lot of maquilas, and we are trying to vaccinate the essential workers to help promote commerce here to the United States and back,” said Villalobos.