Local, Mexican officials announce vaccination initiative

(Courtesy: City of McAllen)

HIDALGO — Bi-national efforts to vaccinate Mexican essential workers have expanded with the launch of a new initiative between local city officials and Mexican maquila officials.

Starting Wednesday, essential workers with INDEX Nuevo Leon, an association for the maquiladora industry, will be vaccinated for COVID-19, officials from the cities of McAllen, Mission, Hidalgo, and the state of Nuevo Leon announced during a news conference.

As part of the initiative, workers will be bussed from Nuevo Leon to the McAllen-Hidalgo International Bridge where they will be vaccinated.

“The only solution is to vaccinate,” Samuel Garcia, the governor-elect of Nuevo Leon, said in Spanish. “There doesn’t exist another solution to the pandemic aside from vaccinating, vaccinating, and continuing to vaccinate.”

(Courtesy: City of McAllen)

Three weeks prior, Garcia said they had launched a similar initiative with the city of Laredo and, so far, 20,000 residents of Nuevo Leon had been vaccinated.

Wednesday marked the beginning of the Monterrey-McAllen-Mission-Hidalgo partnership and, already, 104,837 individuals had registered to be vaccinated, Garcia said.

For these efforts, 10,000 Moderna vaccines will be provided to vaccinate the workers.

“We’re looking forward to our international partnership with Nuevo Leon,” said Mission Mayor Armando O’Caña. “It’s exciting to think about the future business partnerships and endeavors that could soon be coming to our area and their area at the same time.”

O’Caña continued, “A partnership between our two regions will promote more jobs, increase tourism, and help small businesses, especially during our pandemic of COVID-19 at this time.”

“This is an important partnership that benefits the entire region,” McAllen Mayor Javier Villalobos said in a news release issued after the news conference. “I’m proud that we are able to facilitate this effort to keep trade flowing and ensure that our region stays healthy and continues to grow.”

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