Migrants welcome COVID-19 vaccination efforts at Tijuana campsite

Border Report

TIJUANA (Border Report) — Baja California’s Heath officials started vaccinating migrants at the makeshift campsite just south of the San Ysidro Port of Entry between Tijuana and San Diego. The goal was to inoculate 500 on the first day.

The migrants were given the Pfizer brand of the vaccine.

People were allowed to line up and get vaccinated without standard identification requirements or proof residency.

Most of the migrants who have been at the camp for up to six months are from Central America, Haiti and Mexico.

“We’re not going to set conditions on anyone to get vaccinated, we’re not asking for any documents, all we ask is that they be 18 and older,” said Baja Health Secretary Alonso Pérez Rico.

Nery Robert España is a migrant at the Tijuana campsite just south of the border who says earlier this year he was deported after living in Los Angeles for 52 years. (Jorge Nieto/Special to Border Report)

One migrant, Robert España, who claims to have been deported earlier this year after living in Los Angeles for 52 years, said he was more than happy to get the vaccine.

“I was getting worried,” said España, who was actually the first person in line.

“I get up early around 7 in the morning and I noticed they were setting up chairs and tables, they told me they were going to be giving vaccines, so I got in line,” he said.

The 61-year-old migrant said he was happy to get the vaccine for other reasons.

“It’s mandatory, we have to have it to cross the border, the lawyer had asked for it.”

Others, who also hope to cross the border in the future, said they were glad to get the vaccine as it’s a requisite for anyone seeking asylum.

“And they told us to keep the paper in case we cross the border tomorrow, next week or the next two weeks, just to show them this and get the second shot over there,” said España.

According to Pérez Rico, he was glad they finally were able to get the migrants inoculated.

“I’m pretty happy that we got the green light to come here and bring the vaccine, I’m pretty happy there’s a lot of people willing to get the vaccine.”

Pérez Rico stated that in spite of advances being made in terms of getting people vaccinated on both sides of the border, he stressed the need to continue maintaining social distancing and avoiding large gatherings especially indoors.

“We can’t let up and we need to get everyone vaccinated.”

He said this applies to both sides of the border and everywhere else around the world.

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