JUAREZ, Mexico (Border Report) – Chihuahua expects to receive its first COVID-19 vaccines in the next few days, with Juarez getting a portion of that shipment, state officials said.
The state will receive 14,625 doses, which will be applied to front-line health workers in 30 hospitals, said Dr. Mirna Beltran, undersecretary of health. The largest hospitals are in Juarez and Chihuahua City.
The Mexican army will oversee distribution and personnel from the federal Welfare Ministry will assist with vaccinations.
“We were informed that the vaccines would be sent to the states between January 12 and 18 […] I think by tomorrow we will know the exact date,” Beltran said on Monday. “This is important news, this is good news, especially for our health care workers.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has claimed the lives of 82 health workers in Chihuahua, including 39 physicians and 14 nurses. A total of 4,407 people in the state have died from complications of the virus and 47,466 have tested positive for it.
Beltran said the hospitals conducted a census of healthcare workers in anticipation of getting the vaccine and are now working with the Ministry of Defense on priority lists.
“We all want the vaccine, but we need to maintain order and priorities. From the start, it was agreed that our health heroes would be the first to receive this vaccine,” she said.
Across the border in El Paso, Texas, health workers received the first COVID-19 vaccines in mid-December. Since then, more than 33,160 El Paso residents have received at least the first dose of the vaccine and 4,996 have completed the two-shot cycle, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services website.