The first mass immunization of Mexican minors against the coronavirus will take place on the other side of the border. This Tuesday a total of a thousand children and adolescents between 12 and 17 years old from the municipality of Piedras Negras will be transferred, with the support of the Government of Coahuila, to Texas to receive the first dose of Pfizer, one of the few biologics authorized for children under 18 years. The Secretary of State for Health, Roberto Bernal Gómez, acknowledged that it was the maquiladora companies, with a presence on both sides of the border, that were able to donate these doses.
Contrary to the vaccination strategy of the Government of López Obrador, which still does not allow the immunization of children under 18 years of age, the State Administration of PRI Miguel Ángel Riquelme has given the green light and has participated in the efforts to obtain the immunization of these children, children of workers of the maquiladora companies settled in the municipality such as Rassini. “We are going to take the children to the Mexican gatehouse and in the Mexican gatehouse there will be buses that are circling the bridge, they are vaccinated in the United States, they return and there we are going to observe them,” explained the state official. In a single day, the immunization of a thousand children is foreseen, who will be accompanied at all times by an adult.
Bernal Gómez declined to specify the cost of biologicals and logistics, however, he assured that these expenses will be shared between the maquiladora companies, the Government of Coahuila and the municipality. The local secretary rejected that this initiative is going to confront them with the federation. “Due to logistical and economic problems, Mexico still does not authorize this (the vaccination of children), but that is not bad, it is not ‘going free’ it is seeking the benefit of the people of Coahuila. Mexico wins, Coahuila wins, they are immunized children, this does not have to cause me problems with the federation, much less ”, he argued.
Last June the Mexican government authorized the first vaccine against covid-19 for people over 12 years old, Pfizer, the López Obrador Administration does not contemplate the immunization of minors, however, just this weekend the Undersecretary of Health, Hugo López-Gatell gave views of the start of vaccination for children vulnerable to the virus. In an interview with The Day The federal official announced that one million children and adolescents between the ages of 12 and 17 in Mexico with risk factors for presenting severe symptoms or dying from the virus will receive the vaccine. López-Gatell qualified his first statements about vaccinating minors, since at first he had defended the federal strategy of the Executive to close access to biologics for this population group: “We must not lose sight of that for each dose that for judicial action will be diverted towards a child, whose risk is considerably lower, the opportunity is being taken away from a person who has a greater risk ”, he declared at the beginning of September.
While in other states of the country the doses are achieved by droppers and after a legal journey of weeks or months in court through amparos, in Coahuila it was the National Council of the Maquiladora and Export Manufacturing Industry (Index) that underpinned the negotiations. with Maverick County. According to the official within the list of minors, priority was given to those who suffered from some comorbidity such as diabetes and they hope that once this first group of immunized minors is carried out they can manage, with other sectors, the application of more vaccines for this group of children. population that only in Piedras Negra is around 19,500 children.
“By law, state governments cannot buy vaccines and neither does the federation allow them to apply these vaccines to children. If they have the initiative to take them to the gatehouse and allow them to be vaccinated, it is a smart strategy for me. The industry has understood that vaccinating the population will bring benefits in the medium term, ”said Andreu Comas, an academic at the Autonomous University of San Luis Potosí (UASLP). Mexico has accumulated 72,000 infected children and 702 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic, according to official figures.
The strategy to immunize the children of maquila workers, promoted by the business organization Index, follows the same path that this productive sector applied last July to immunize its Mexican employees against the virus. At that time, dozens of buses from states such as Coahuila, Sonora and Tamaulipas were organized to be vaccinated in the US Since last June, vaccination in Mexico has also focused on the northern border, a key area for reactivation economic of both countries.
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