Friday, December 1, 2023

Cross-border vaccination sees first kids under 5 get COVID shot

Mexico hasn’t approved COVID-19 vaccines for children younger than five but that isn’t stopping young kids from Tamaulipas getting shots this week.

The mayor of Nuevo Laredo struck an agreement with health authorities in Texas that allows babies and children aged between six months and four years to get vaccinated on the other side of the border. The vaccination of children under five began in the United States this week.

A group of young Nuevo Laredo kids with health conditions that make them vulnerable to serious COVID-19 illness crossed into Laredo, Texas, on Monday to get shots administered by Webb County medical personnel.

“We’re the first municipality in Mexico to administer COVID-19 vaccines to babies of six months [and children up] to four years old,” tweeted Mayor Carmen Lilia Canturosas Villarreal, who has secured a batch of 1,800 vaccines for young children.

“The health of Nuevo Laredo residents is a priority for this government, which with willpower and effort is achieving the transformation of Nuevo Laredo,” added the Morena party mayor in a post that included photos of young children getting vaccinated while still on the bus on which they crossed the border.

Other Nuevo Laredo children will have the opportunity to get a shot in Laredo during a weeklong campaign that commences Thursday. Canturosas published photos to Twitter Wednesday showing long lines of parents waiting to complete the vaccination registration process for their young sons and daughters.

Nuevo Laredo was also the first municipality in Mexico to offer vaccination to children aged five to 11 and adolescents aged 12 to 17 thanks to its cooperation with Laredo health authorities. The federal government only announced that it would offer shots to  the former cohort last week.

Mexico is currently experiencing a fifth wave of the pandemic, with new case numbers increasing significantly in recent weeks. The federal Health Ministry reported 13,752 new cases Tuesday, lifting the country’s accumulated tally to 5.89 million. The estimated active case count is currently 69,575, while the official COVID-19 death toll rose by 41 Tuesday to 325,458.

With reports from Reforma 

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