Senior citizens seeking to get vaccinated against Covid-19 encountered a range of challenges in Tonalá, Jalisco, on Monday, including a massive, kilometer-long lineup of cars at a drive-thru vaccination center.
Authorities set up the drive-thru center at a University of Guadalajara campus in Tonalá, part of the metropolitan area of the state capital, and by noon on Monday approximately 500 cars had joined the queue. The occupants of the vehicles faced a long wait – even if they were at the front of the line – as the application of shots through car windows didn’t commence until 5:00 p.m.
The newspaper El Universal reported that a lot of motorists decided to park their cars and walk into the vaccination center because doses were administered to people who arrived on foot from early Monday.
It also said that some people spent Sunday night outside centers in order to get a token that would ensure that they, or their loved ones, got one of the almost 41,000 Pfizer doses on offer in the municipality on Monday.
The granddaughters of one woman identified only as Irma managed to get a token at a secondary school-cum-vaccination center after lining up overnight but their grandmother nevertheless had to wait about five hours to get a jab.
Despite the long wait, Irma was luckier than some other residents who were denied a shot because their voter ID cards didn’t specify that they lived in the municipality. El Universal said that some of those who were turned away live in irregular settlements, or shanty towns, that are not recognized by local authorities as being part of Tonalá even though they are located within municipal boundaries.
The newspaper also reported that seniors who registered on the federal government’s vaccination website were not called to schedule an appointment, as was supposed to occur, and numerous people who don’t live in Tonalá joined queues to try to get a dose of the sought-after vaccine.
In addition, some people attempted to jump the queues, successfully or otherwise, triggering complaints from seniors who had been standing in line for hours.
Jalisco Health Minister Fernando Petersen highlighted that the federal government, rather than state authorities, is responsible for the vaccination rollout, effectively blaming it for the problems in Tonalá and similar issues last week in Tlaquepaque.
Oaxaca Governor Alejandro Murat also blamed federal authorities for problems that plagued the vaccination process in that state’s Central Valleys region last week.
Source: El Universal (sp)