With border restrictions about to end, questions remain


SAN DIEGO (Border Report) — Even with the announcement that essential border travel restrictions are coming to an end on November 8, there are still some things to be worked out.

The United States has said once the restrictions are lifted, only those who are fully vaccinated will be permitted to cross the border — and only if they were inoculated with one of seven approved brands by the World Health Organization.

These are the seven brands of the COVID-19 vaccinations approved by the World Health Organization and recognized by the United States. (Courtesy: WHO)

Mexico has approved vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech, Cansino, COVAX, AstraZeneca, Sputnik V, Sinovac, Janssen y Moderna — some of which are not on the WHO’s list.

If someone who isn’t vaccinated now were to receive the first shot of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine Friday Oct. 15, they’d still have to wait at least 21 days to get the second shot, putting that date at Nov. 5, just days before the border reopens. The Moderna vaccine requires 28 days between shots, putting it a few days after the reopening. The Sinovac vaccine has two weeks between doses, Oxford/AstraZeneca is about eight and Johnson & Johnson is just a single shot.

People entering the United States through ports of entry, ferry landings on via rail, will have to show proof of their vaccination status if asked by a Customs and Border Protection agent.

Questions have surfaced about children from Mexico and whether they will be allowed north of the border.

It appears they won’t since most minors in Mexico, those under 18, have not received any COVID-19 vaccinations in general (although there is an exception for those ages 12-17 who are considered “at risk”).

In January, commercial drivers entering the United States, such as truck drivers, will have to be fully vaccinated.

Word of the restrictions coming to an end has been met with optimism and hope in towns like San Ysidro, California, which have been hit hard by the lack of visitors from Mexico.

Olivia Campos manages Carolin Shoes in San Ysidro, Calif. (Salvador Rivera/Border Report)

“It has been really slow,” said Olivia Campos who manages Carolin Shoes just north of the Port of Entry.

She told Border Report she is excited about the prospects of getting more customers and finally recovering some of their losses.

But Campos worries a high number of shoppers from Mexico may not materialize come Nov. 8.

“People in Mexico are hurting, they don’t have as much money because of the economy,” Campos said. “And the peso is really weak, people won’t be able to get as many dollars to shop.”

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The mission of BorderReport.com is to provide real-time delivery of the untold local stories about people living, working and migrating along the U.S. border with Mexico. The information is gathered by experienced and trusted Nexstar Media Group journalists hired specifically to cover the border.