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Foreigners report not being able to get free COVID-19 vaccines

A lack of proper information and poor federal-state coordination is likely to blame

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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. Sign up for the Yucatán Roundup, a free newsletter, which delivers the week's top headlines every Monday.
Mexico’s government has not made any official statement regarding the vaccinations of foreigners in the country. Photo: File

Some foreigners in Yucatán report being denied coronavirus vaccination shots after registering online and receiving an appointment. 

The confusion likely the result of miscommunication between local and federal authorities, an official said. On a Facebook group for foreigners, a resident from Canada suggested the government could be favoring the segment of the population that can vote.

An official said that it should not be so difficult to follow through with a vaccination appointment.

“I do not know the specifics of cases regarding foreigners, but any official document that proves official residence and domicile within the country should be enough to prove vaccine eligibility,” an agent on México’s official COVID-19 information line told Yucatán Magazine.

There has been no explicit mention from Mexico’s government on whether foreigners are eligible for free COVID-19 vaccinations, although the president has characterized vaccinations as free and universal. Moreover, Mexico’s vaccine registration website accepts the Clave Única de Registro de Población — or CURP — which appears on any temporary or permanent residency cards.

But at individual vaccination centers, some gatekeepers want to see more. Voter ID cards, known as INEs, are the most common form of identification in Mexico. As these ID cards are only available to Mexican nationals, authorities who require them effectively shut out all foreign nationals.

In Yucatán, AstraZeneca vaccines are currently being offered to people over 60 in Valladolid, Motul and Conkal.

It is unknown when vaccination efforts will begin in cities such as Mérida, Progreso or Telchac — where the largest numbers of foreign nationals in Yucatán reside. Several expats and snowbirds have flown to their home countries just to get vaccinated.

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