SAN DIEGO (Border Report) — On a cloudy Southern California morning, and with a nip in the air, several dozen teens and young children calmly walked off buses, shuttles and vans and turned toward the Mexican Consulate in downtown San Diego.
They all came from Tijuana with one goal in mind: to get their COVID-19 vaccinations.
Among them was a 13-year-old named Martha.
“I’m pretty excited because I really wanted to go back to school, my parents, too, so I was really excited, this is great for us,” Martha said.
Martha admitted knowing first hand how devastating the virus can be.
“I have family that passed away because of it, and some got sick and some have it,” she said. “This is very important for everyone and it’s kind of selfish to think about ‘Oh, I don’t want to get it’ when you know it can save a lot of people’s lives. I would like it to be more accessible in Mexico.”
The goal of the program is to vaccinate 450 minors. Three hundred or so have already crossed the border to be inoculated.
The person behind the project is Mexico Consul General in San Diego, Carlos González Gutiérrez.
“We are very fortunate to be close to the United States,” he said. “They are allowing us to bring minors, people who are 18 years or younger who live in Tijuana but who have their visa or dual nationality, to come cross the border — come here to the consulate in order to get vaccinated.”
The minors from Mexico received the Pfizer brand and will be returning to California again in the near future to get their second and third shots.
The vaccines are left over from campaigns in Southern California that cannot be sent to Mexico.
Personnel from the County of San Diego are involved in distributing and administering the shots.
Currently, the vaccine is not widely available to young people in Mexico.
“San Diegans won’t be completely safe until people in Tijuana, Mexicali, Tecate are fully safe as well, we will still have a Covid-19 problem in San Diego as long as we have a COVID-19 problem on the other side of the border,” González Gutiérrez said. “Once we get the 450 minors vaccinated, we want to grow the program and make it available to many others.”
González Gutiérrez also led a campaign earlier this year to bring thousands of workers from Mexico to California to get vaccinated.
That program was deemed a huge success and was emulated in many other areas along the southern border.