/ Modified sep 23, 2021 11:28 a.m.

300 youth vaccinated in San Luis Rio Colorado through binational campaign

Mexico has not opened up its COVID-19 vaccination program to anyone under 18. But a group of minors in this border town received their first doses this week.

360 pfizer vial A vial of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.
Robert Lindberg/AZPM Staff

Mexico has not yet opened up its COVID-19 vaccination program to anyone under 18. But a group of minors in a Sonoran border town received their first doses this week as part of a binational vaccination effort.

san luis rio colorado vaccine A boy in San Luis Rio Colorado receives his first dose of the coronavirus vaccine on September 20, 2021.
Consulado de México en Yuma

About 300 kids ages 12 to 17 received first doses of the Pfizer vaccine in the border municipality of San Luis Rio Colorado this week.

Mayor Santos Gonzalez Yescas says the vaccines came through a partnership between the Mexican Consulate in Yuma and the University of Arizona.

"It's more than excellent," he said. "It's really important for the protection of our older adults."

But he added that securing vaccines for minors was difficult, because his city is the first city to openly offer vaccines to people under 18.

Until now, most vaccinated children have either been able to receive a vaccine outside of Mexico, for example, by flying to the United States, or through court injunctions which have been filed across the country by families concerned for the health of their children.

Mexico’s president has insisted that children should not receive shots until all adults are fully vaccinated. Though he walked that back slightly on Wednesday with an announcement that vaccinations for more than a million children "who require special treatment" because they have certain illnesses or disabilities would begin shortly.

Gonzalez said about 80% of people over 18 are either fully vaccinated or waiting on their second dose in San Luis Rio Colorado, and officials are planning another vaccination campaign in early October to inoculate 1,700 more children.

Fronteras Desk
Fronteras Desk is a KJZZ project covering important stories in an expanse stretching from Northern Arizona deep into northwestern Mexico.
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