Mexico to begin administering COVID-19 shots to minors ahead of border re-opening

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More than 15,000 vaccines headed to border state of Chihuahua this week, federal official says

Migrants staying at a Juarez, Mexico shelter where 127 of their peers have been diagnosed with chickenpox this week received vaccines. (photo courtesy Office of the Mayor of Juarez)

EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) – Mexico in the next few days will begin vaccinating minors ages 12 to 17 for COVID-19 in at least one state bordering the United States, a federal official said in Juarez.

The announcement comes almost a week after the Department of Homeland Security said the U.S. and Mexico would be reopening their land borders to fully vaccinated travelers engaged in non-essential activities, such as tourism and family visits. Non-essential land travel restrictions have been in place at the border since March 2020, and are scheduled to be rolled back on Nov. 8.

American border cities like El Paso have already fully vaccinated 76.8 percent of their population 12 years of age or older. But, with some exceptions, Mexico hasn’t authorized the application of COVID-19 vaccines to anyone under 18.

“We recognize the importance of cross-border mobility. The challenge is to provide safe conditions and overcome obstacles that make it difficult for us to be with our family, our friends and the world on the other side of (the border),” Juan Carlos Loera, the Mexican federal government representative in the state of Chihuahua, said on Facebook.

The teens who meet the age requirement and have been diagnosed with chronic heart, lung, kidney, liver disease or other documented ailments that place them at high risk of developing complications from the coronavirus will be eligible for a first dose of the Pfizer vaccine later this month. Teen girls who are in their ninth week of pregnancy and beyond also will be eligible.

Loera said some 15,000 vaccines would be arriving shortly in Chihuahua City and would be distributed to major cities in the state, including Juarez. The vaccines will be administered in Juarez at the Hospital Infantil de Especialidades, or Children’s Hospital, and the Mexican Social Security Institute regional clinic (IMSS-66), Loera said.

The official said he was hoping the vaccination could begin on Tuesday, but his staff said it might take longer.

Loera said parents should register their children at https://mivacuna.gob.mx if they want them to get the vaccine.

The Mexican government began registering minors online for COVID-19 shots after several families across the country secured amparos, or court writs, compelling authorities to vaccines their children. Hundreds already got the shots in Mexico City and other places. In addition, the state of Coahuila, which borders Texas, vaccinated around 1,000 minors in September thanks to a binational vaccine initiative.

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