Authorities in the Mexican border state of Baja California have announced that migrants would be included in the new COVID-19 immunisation plan for border communities, which aims to speed up the reopening of the shared land border with the United States.
The state, which borders California, began vaccinating individuals over the age of 18 this week as part of a new mass immunisation campaign across northern Mexico that depends on over a million Johnson & Johnson pills supplied by the US.
Baja California Health Secretary Alonso Óscar Pérez told Reuters on Friday that the agency has a plan to vaccinate migrants as part of this new border vaccination initiative. He added that the agency has allocated specific days for migrants, without providing additional details.
Mexico is rolling out its border initiative first in Baja California, home to one of the busiest land border crossings in the world, then plans to move west state-by-state until reaching Mexico’s eastern seaboard.
The decision to include migrants in Baja California may mean migrants will be included across Mexico’s border, where thousands of mostly Central American migrants wait, often for months, in hopes of being able to cross into the United States.
Migrant advocates have been pushing the state for information about how this vaccination drive will include the estimated 4,000 migrants living in Baja California, according to data provided by local shelters.
At least 1,000 migrants are camped at the base of an international bridge in the city of Tijuana.
Reporting by Lizbeth Diaz; Editing by Cynthia Osterman