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San Diego County announces program to share vaccines with Tijuana workers

Mobile clinic in San Ysidro to give 10,000 shots
Posted at 11:47 AM, May 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-25 15:37:15-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- San Diego County officials, together with representatives from the Mexican government, announced a plan Tuesday to help vaccinate 10,000 workers in Tijuana.

"A border is a line on the map, but a line on the map does not stop your humanity. A line on a map does not stop our shared economy. A line on a map does not stop our shared culture and community," said County Board of Supervisors Chairman Nathan Fletcher.

The vaccines come from the state of California and are in addition to vaccines the state will send to San Diego for U.S. citizens.

UC San Diego Health will operate a mobile clinic in San Yisdro to administer the vaccines.

“Public health is our priority," said UC San Diego Health Director of COVID Operations Lydia Ikeda. "We're here to help everyone live as healthy a life as possible."

Ikeda says it's a natural evolution of UC San Diego's help with vaccines that began when they opened the vaccine superstation at Petco Park in January.

The vaccines will go to employees of Baja California maquiladoras. Those are United States subsidiary manufacturing companies in Mexico with an administration facility in the United States.

Six companies are taking part in the program, and they will pay for all fees and costs associated with the vaccines.

"Binational efforts like this one are key strategies to overcome the challenges that the COVID 19 pandemic has imposed to our shared border," said Carlos González Gutiérrez, Consul General of Mexico in San Diego.

In addition to helping the employees, San Diego officials say getting more people in Tijuana vaccinated will help with the economic recovery in San Diego.

"We know we will not have a full economic recovery until our entire mega-region has the same protections from COVID," Fletcher said. "What we are doing here will not only help these workers, it will help the United States of America."

Fletcher said the county has had talks with President Biden's administration about reopening the border. He believes vaccination efforts like this will help speed up that process.

Officials from Mexico say if this pilot program is successful, they can expand it to more businesses and more people.