COVID-19 vaccination to begin Monday in Mérida

Residents over 60 in Kaua were inoculated with the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine on Tuesday. Photo: Courtesy
A man in Kaua receives AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine as Mauricio Sauri, head of the Yucatán ministry, oversees operations. Photo: Courtesy

Federal health authorities say that COVID-19 vaccinations for Meridanos over 60 are scheduled to begin.

(An updated article with dates and locations appears here.) 

Between 10 and 15 vaccination centers will be set up around the city to administer the vaccine manufactured by AstraZeneca, according to Federal health delegate Joaquín Díaz Mena.

Vaccinations are to be administered alphabetically according to each person’s paternal last name. 

Plans are also underway to deliver inoculations to several hundred individuals who are not able to leave their homes due to illness. 

The vaccination effort aims to inoculate 130,000 individuals, but authorities say that it is likely that many will choose to opt-out citing fears of adverse effects.

“In several communities in Yucatán, we have seen a significant percentage of the population turn down the vaccine. In reality, the vaccine is very safe but there are lots of misinformation and conspiracy theories out there. When adverse reactions do happen they almost always are mild,” said Díaz Mena.

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If any vaccines are leftover in Mérida, they are likely to be used to cover the second dosages of people in nearby municipalities such as Kanasín. 

Health authorities began applying COVID-19 vaccinations to older adults in Yucatán in early January, but this is the first time that the coveted vaccine is being offered to non-medical personnel in Mérida. 

Foreigners who legally reside in Mexico, and are 60 or over, are among those who qualify, although government officials in several districts have wrongly insisted that voter ID cards, only available to Mexicans, are required to receive the vaccine. 

Foreigners are recommended to bring Mexican immigration cards as identification. Other documents such as utility bills and secondary forms of ID are sometimes also requested to confirm residency. 

Around 80% of all confirmed COVID-19 cases in Yucatán have been registered in Mérida.

Carlos Rosado van der Gracht

Born in Mérida, Carlos Rosado van der Gracht is a Mexican/Canadian blogger, photographer and adventure expedition leader. He holds degrees in multimedia, philosophy and translation from universities in Mexico, Canada and Norway.