Thanks to the joint effort of authorities and civic organizations, the gap in vaccination rates, in comparison with other demographics, has started to decrease.
Recently, Mexico’s consular network in the United States reached an agreement with U.S. health authorities to provide COVID-19 vaccines to Mexicans who reside there, no matter their legal situation or immigration status.
Dozens of consulates have already agreed to this benefit with local authorities, in line with current immunization procedures in each state. This includes Mexicans detained in immigration centers and prisons, essential workers, detainees in hospitals, senior citizens and the indigenous population.
This is clearly excellent news for Mexicans in the U.S., especially if we consider the study by the University of Southern California, which shows that Latino immigrants of working age are 11 times more likely to die of COVID-related causes and three times more likely to require hospitalization.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only 8% of those who have received a dose of the vaccine are Latino, approximately 3 million people. This figure is important if we consider that the Latino population in the country represents 18.5% of the entire country.
Unfortunately, they are a vulnerable sector of the population, given their lack of access to better educational and work opportunities and health care services, which depend, to a greater or lesser extent, on their immigration status.
The structural limitations faced daily by Mexican communities have a direct impact on vaccination rates, despite the increasing availability of vaccines. Barriers like language and access to technology, particularly among the elderly, come into play when they try to arrange an appointment or complete digital forms at the vaccination centers.
Part of this disinformation is also combined with eligibility, costs, availability to attend vaccination appointments, and especially, the fear of being registered or detained because of their immigration status. This is where the work of the Mexican consulate offices in providing care becomes essential regardless of nationality. It is also worth highlighting the work of civilian volunteer organizations and multidisciplinary specialists, who offer support by facilitating the transportation of our countrymen to these vaccination centers.
Thanks to the joint effort of authorities and civil society organizations, the gap in vaccination rates, in comparison with other demographics, has started to decrease. States like California have reduced these discrepancies by 2.4%, while other states, like Maryland, rare recording a reduction of 0.3%, in line with vaccine availability and other local restrictions.
I consider Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard’s timely visit to Washington a sign of gratitude and binational cooperation that exceeds the personal request for more vaccines for Mexico, vaccines which are arriving sporadically in the face of a national demand. That is something which we need to thank and congratulate the inconsiderate Mexican diplomatic corps in the National Palace for.