SAN DIEGO (Border Report) — Recently Mexico announced it was turning to China and Russia for its COVID-19 vaccines in spite of many unknowns surrounding their efficacy.
Mexico is buying at least 12 million doses from Chinese companies, a number that could increase to 20 million.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Mexico has vaccinated about 4.7 million of its residents, a small number compared to its 126 million population.
Mexican officials have said they have purchased 34 million doses from Pfizer, but most of the shots have yet to be delivered.
With growing pressure due to upcoming elections in June, Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) is turning elsewhere for the vaccines, border security consultant Nelson Balido said.
“AMLO is under extreme pressure to try and get whatever he can to the population,” Balido said. “I’d really think twice before I’d inject anything that hasn’t been properly tested and vetted.”
Balido, who is based in Texas, says Mexico has been dragging its feet since the pandemic started and is now trying to catch up.
“AMLO recently visited with President Biden and basically asked to borrow some leftover vaccines and the White House was very clear we’re not giving away any vaccines until we vaccinate our own people,” Balido said.
Balido worries if Mexico uses the Chinese and/or Russian versions of the COVID-19 vaccine, it will have an adverse affect all along the southern border in both Mexico and the U.S.
“Normally when you have hundreds of thousands of people crossing the border legally from U.S. to Mexico and from Mexico to U.S., you want to make sure everyone is taken care of on both sides, you can’t just do one side and not the other,” said Balido. “If not, you just continue to infect yourself with those that don’t have that immunity, that’s a big problem that is poses all across the border from San Diego to Brownsville.”
Balido hopes Mexico will continue to push for the same vaccines now being given to people north of the border.
The White House on Thursday announced the U.S. is planning to send a combined 4 million doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to Mexico and Canada in its first export of shots.