Residents of an indigenous town in Hidalgo are demanding that the federal government respect their right to decide whether they want to be vaccinated against Covid-19 or not.
The government hasn’t made any announcement that getting a shot is mandatory but Hñähñu, or Otomí, people in San Ildefonso Chantepec have nevertheless made it clear that they will reject any imposition of the vaccine.
If the government doesn’t respect people’s right to choose whether they want to be vaccinated it will violate people’s rights, the San Ildefonso town leader told the newspaper El Universal.
César Cruz said the government’s Covid-19 vaccination program will not make up for the years of abandonment San Ildefonso and other indigenous communities in Hidalgo have suffered in terms of healthcare.
“We need quality care [always], not just sometimes,” he said.
San Ildefonso, located about 10 kilometers south of the city of Tula, and other indigenous communities have extremely limited access to health services and medications are frequently in short supply.
“We can only get sick from nine in the morning to two in the afternoon,” Cruz said, referring to the town clinic’s operating hours.
He said that many of the 10,000 residents, among whom are large numbers of artisans and musicians, don’t trust the Covid-19 vaccines because they’re new and they had bad experiences previously with the influenza vaccine.
“Some people had a negative reaction, … everybody’s body is different. In the community some people say no [to the Covid-19 vaccine], I personally won’t agree [to having it],” Cruz said.
The town governor clarified that he believes that almost the entire population shares his view but some don’t enunciate it out of fear of being stigmatized or stripped of federal welfare payments.
Cruz also said that people resorted to using traditional medicines to treat illnesses during the pandemic because they saw that people who went to hospital were dying.
Meanwhile, Mexico’s vaccination program continues to proceed slowly with just 51,802 doses administered on Monday. That figure is well short of the daily high of about 330,000 shots recorded last month but the highest since Tuesday last week.
A total of 2.85 million Covid-19 vaccine doses had been administered in Mexico as of Monday night, a figure that accounts for almost 61% of the approximately 4.7 million doses the country has received.
The Health Ministry also said Monday that the accumulated case tally had increased to 2.13 million with 1,877 new cases registered while the official Covid-19 death toll rose by 319 to 190,923.
Source: El Universal (sp)