Between mariachi songs and congratulatory applause, the third phase of the National Vaccination Plan against Covid-19 began in the Mexican capital, which is focused on people between 50 and 59 years old.
Rushed, protected with masks and masks, and some accompanied by their children or other relatives, the beneficiaries of the vaccine began to arrive from before 10:00 in the morning to the various inoculation posts that were installed in sports centers, schools public and university facilities in Mexico City.
For those who went to the Jaime Torres Bodet Cultural Center, a concert hall, which between Monday and Friday has become a vaccination center, what they received in the arm meant much more than a puncture: it was to recover the hope of traveling , to return to work and even to meet again with their relatives, with whom they have not had physical contact in more than a year since the Covid-19 pandemic began.
“We have not seen the family for more than a year, neither my parents nor the in-laws. We already want to meet, but we will not do so until we all get vaccinated”Said Luis García, a 58-year-old self-employed worker.
Luis went to get vaccinated in the company of his wife, María Elena Mendoza Flores, a 49-year-old housewife, who was able to receive her vaccine because she will turn 50 next month.
UN Mexico / Gabriela Ramirez
An act of responsibility and solidarity at the same time
Unlike her husband, María Elena’s wish is to get out of the confinement in which she has lived for the last year and go on vacation to the beach.
Both are convinced of the effectiveness of vaccines and that their application represents an act of responsibility, but also of solidarity with others to reduce the incidence of infections in Mexico, a country that to date accumulates more than 2.3 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 and more than 217,000 deaths.
“It represents feeling safe, being able to continue working freely and with protection. Unfortunately those who do not believe in the pandemic are not right, there have been deaths in the family for not having their precaution. The vaccine is a preventive and we have always been in favor of vaccines, ”said Luis.
The vaccination day took place in a spirit of celebration and joy, to the beat of pieces of traditional Mexican music such as “El son de la negra” or “El sinaloense” performed by the mariachi of the Secretariat of Citizen Security of Mexico City.
In addition to music, there was applause from the police and health personnel in charge of receiving and saying goodbye to the people who came to get vaccinated; They congratulated them because after a year of uncertainty caused by Covid-19, they were able to go home with the peace of mind that the disease will no longer represent a danger of death.
“At first it did scare me because I said: ‘Hey, no, what do I do? what I do?’ But afterwards, my fear was taking away and well, here I am, I did it. My daughter spoke to me on the phone yesterday and said ‘Mom, you go with all faith and everything will be fine. You’ll see it as soon as you arrive. ‘ I’m very happy, ”said Gabriela García Rivera, a 58-year-old housewife.
Vaccination advances in Mexico
The Mexican Government began this new phase of inoculation throughout the country last Monday; the goal is to immunize 9,128,769 people who belong to this age group in the coming weeks; and start with the vaccination of teachers and workers in public and private schools in six states. According to the stages of the National Vaccination Plan, this objective is expected to be reached during the month of May.
Until May 2, more than 18,471,669 million doses have been applied throughout the country. Of these, 7,792,707 people have a complete vaccination scheme; 10,684,727 older adults, 1,024,998 workers in the health sector and 916,135 in the education sector have their first dose.
UN Mexico / Gabriela Ramirez
Covax also already arrived in the country
On April 25, Mexico received 1,075,200 doses of vaccines against COVID-19 acquired through the COVAX Mechanism, a global effort between the Coalition for the Promotion of Innovations in favor of Preparedness for Epidemics (CEPI), the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (Gavi), Unicef, the Pan American Health Organization (OPS) and the World Health Organization (WHO). The country is expected to continue receiving shipments successively until reaching 51.5 million doses to immunize just over 25 million people.
The distribution of vaccines through the COVAX * Mechanism represents the largest vaccine procurement and supply operation in history since it seeks to supply vaccines for at least 20% of the population of each country participating in the initiative globally during 2021.
They ask to combat fear and misinformation about vaccines
At the vaccination center, María Teresa Mata León, a doctor attached to the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS) and who participates in the National Vaccination Plan through the Roadrunner Brigade, recalled the importance of inoculation as a means to prevent further deaths from occurring and thus reduce the number of infections.
“Vaccines are safeThey should not have any fear to be applied because they have confidence that the products we are applying are safe for the entire population ”, he said.
He recalled that even after the application of the vaccines it is necessary to maintain health security measures such as physical distancing, wash hands with soap and water, and antibacterial gel, use a mask that is well adjusted to the face that covers the nose and mouth, and make use of the etiquette sneeze, that is, to cover the mouth when sneezing or coughing.
As well as the importance of verify the information through official bodies before sharing it, to avoid hoaxes and misinformation.
“I invite you, and that you continue with the protection measures and do not be afraid of vaccination, it is what will help us. It is very important that before sharing the information, they verify that the information they have is real to avoid false news, in official instances ”.
* Production Teresa Moreno, from United Nations Information Center in Mexico.