A binational pilot program created by U.S. and Mexican agencies will help administer 10,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines to workers at U.S-owned border assembly plants in Baja California, local leaders announced Tuesday.
“Thanks to the support and hard work of agencies on both sides of the border, yesterday, a pilot test began to vaccinate 10,000 Mexican maquiladora workers from subsidiary companies located in Baja California,” Carlos González Gutiérrez, Consul General of Mexico in San Diego, said in a press conference.
The vaccination site will be located in San Ysidro, with vaccines free to interested workers since their employers will cover the administrative fee, González Gutiérrez said.
As per San Diego County’s request, Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine will be administered at the site. The vaccines are being provided by the state since California has an “excess supply of vaccines at the moment,” according to Board of Supervisors Chair Nathan Fletcher.
“We’re in a position as a state to be a good neighbor and good partner,” he said.
Participating companies were selected by the Baja California Chamber of Commerce, according to González Gutiérrez.
“The reality is a border is a line on a map but a line on the map does not stop your humanity, a line on the map does not stop our shared economy, a line on the map does not stop our shared culture and community,” Fletcher later added.
The pilot program was made possible by a collaboration between San Diego County, the Consulate General of Mexico, UC San Diego Health and six participating U.S. subsidiary companies that operate in Baja California.
“This initiative is really exactly the type of binational program our region must lead in,” said Nora Vargas, Vice-Chair of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors. “Through history, our border region has always shown when there’s a need, both sides of the border are always willing to work together for the common good.”