SAN DIEGO (Border Report) — Recently President Joe Biden promised to deliver 20 million COVID-19 vaccines to other countries, but one agency in San Diego believes the charity should stay just south of the border.
The Smart Border Coalition would like to see the president hand out the vaccines to cities such as Tijuana as a way to stimulate the economy and improve overall health along the southern border.
The agency promotes business prosperity and quality of life for both sides of the border.
“You have an enormous population that works in San Diego but lives in Tijuana crosses the border,” said Gustavo De la Fuente, executive director of the Smart Border Coalition. “There’s the day-to-day ties of people who have families working both sides of the border, you have individuals who have businesses and travel back and forth, so there’s a tremendous amount of activity going on.”
De la Fuente believes one side of the border can’t get well if the other side remains stricken by the virus.
“We knew many months ago that we were going to have vaccination disparity; we got to get these people vaccinated. We cannot go back to our little environment on Mexican side or in U.S. This is about one side of the border helping the other side,” De la Fuente said.
In cities like Tijuana, vaccine distribution has been slow, plagued by lack of supply. Just this week, it finished vaccinating most healthcare workers, and while most seniors have been given the first dose, many await for their second inoculation.
“If you have herd immunity, say in San Diego side, why not get it in the Mexico side, boost confidence and get economic activity going get restrictions lifted,” De la Fuente said.