Migration

Mexico to vaccinate migrants in Baja California in new border initiative


Migrants from Central America, who had previously been deported from the United States and returned to Mexico under Title 42, cross the Paso del Norte international border bridge to continue their asylum claim in the United States, in Ciudad Juarez , Mexico, June 15, 2021. REUTERS / Jose Luis Gonzalez / File photo

MEXICO CITY, June 18 (Reuters) – Authorities in the Mexican border state of Baja California have announced that they will include migrants in the new COVID-19 vaccination plan for border towns, which aims to speed up the reopening of the common land border with the United States.

The state, which is directly across from California, began vaccinating adults over 18 this week as part of a new mass vaccination campaign in northern Mexico, which relies on more than ‘one million Johnson & Johnson doses donated by the United States.

Baja California Health Secretary Alonso Óscar Pérez told Reuters on Friday that the agency had 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 further details.

Mexico deploys 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 it reaches the east coast of Mexico. .

The decision to include migrants in Baja California may mean migrants will be included across the Mexican border, where thousands of mainly Central American migrants wait, often for months, in the hope of be able to enter the United States.

Migrant advocates have pushed the state for information on how this vaccination campaign will include the estimated 4,000 migrants living in Baja California, according to data provided by local shelters.

At least 1,000 migrants are camping at the foot of an international bridge in the city of Tijuana.

Reporting by Lizbeth Diaz; Editing by Cynthia Osterman

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