As the U.S. continues to ramp up vaccination efforts across the country, the same can’t be said for one of our neighboring countries. Leer en españolMexican nationals are traveling to the U.S. to get access to the COVID-19 vaccination as availability is limited in their country. And with Mexico among the top three nations with the highest number of COVID-19 deaths — behind Brazil and the United States — they are desperate to get their dose of the vaccine and have found it easier to travel across the border to get their doses. Anna Lourdes Lozano Peña is among the people who came here looking for a vaccine. She also knows several people who are struggling to get their second dose a month after receiving their first one.”Vaccinations are limited in the state of Nuevo León,” Lozano Peña said. But she isn’t the only one. The Elica Health Center’s mobile unit at the Consulate General of México in Sacramento administers approximately 80% of COVID-19 vaccinations to Hispanics and Latinos. Some of those patients are traveling with their tourist visas only to get the COVID-19 vaccine, and they tend to come with their families.Sergio Gaxiola is the director at the UC Davis Center for Reducing Health Disparities. He said the Elica Health Center’s mobile unit is already seeing a shortage of vaccines but the people coming can’t be turned away.Gaxiola explained that Mexican residents who have been U.S. residents and were patients in U.S. health systems are a different case from people traveling here without a visa. “People coming from other countries because they are able to do it — to afford that — it is a very difficult situation,” Gaxiola said. When asked how she feels about traveling to get the vaccine, Lozano Peña said it’s a trip that’s worth it because she now feels safe.Currently, nonessential travel is restricted at the U.S.-Mexico border for people traveling on foot, vehicles or ferries. Air travel is allowed but passengers must first get a negative COVID-19 test, which could be an added cost in other countries.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — As the U.S. continues to ramp up vaccination efforts across the country, the same can’t be said for one of our neighboring countries. Leer en español
Mexican nationals are traveling to the U.S. to get access to the COVID-19 vaccination as availability is limited in their country. And with Mexico among the top three nations with the highest number of COVID-19 deaths — behind Brazil and the United States — they are desperate to get their dose of the vaccine and have found it easier to travel across the border to get their doses. Anna Lourdes Lozano Peña is among the people who came here looking for a vaccine. She also knows several people who are struggling to get their second dose a month after receiving their first one.”Vaccinations are limited in the state of Nuevo León,” Lozano Peña said. But she isn’t the only one. The Elica Health Center’s mobile unit at the Consulate General of México in Sacramento administers approximately 80% of COVID-19 vaccinations to Hispanics and Latinos. Some of those patients are traveling with their tourist visas only to get the COVID-19 vaccine, and they tend to come with their families.Sergio Gaxiola is the director at the UC Davis Center for Reducing Health Disparities. He said the Elica Health Center’s mobile unit is already seeing a shortage of vaccines but the people coming can’t be turned away.Gaxiola explained that Mexican residents who have been U.S. residents and were patients in U.S. health systems are a different case from people traveling here without a visa. “People coming from other countries because they are able to do it — to afford that — it is a very difficult situation,” Gaxiola said. When asked how she feels about traveling to get the vaccine, Lozano Peña said it’s a trip that’s worth it because she now feels safe.Currently, nonessential travel is restricted at the U.S.-Mexico border for people traveling on foot, vehicles or ferries. Air travel is allowed but passengers must first get a negative COVID-19 test, which could be an added cost in other countries.