Mexico Fears a Third Wave; Health Personnel Request VaccinesBy Jorge Ramos Zwanziger | Wed, 04/07/2021 - 08:59
As of Apr. 5, Mexico has received a total of 15.163 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines of which 9.287 million have been administered, according to the Ministry of Health, reports El Financiero. For every 100 inhabitants, Mexico has administered six doses, putting the country behind Brazil’s nine, Uruguay’s 19 and Chile’s 54.
At this point, the country is focusing on its second vaccination stage, which targets those over 60 years of age. The first focused on health personnel treating COVID-19 patients. While vaccination rates are increasing among the elderly, many health workers, particularly in private hospitals, argue they are in a state of limbo, reports El País.
As of Apr. 4, 213,494 health workers have received the first dose of the vaccine, while 661,485 have received both. About 50 percent of the health staff in Mexico’s private hospitals are vaccinated, according to El País. Last month, the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) stated that Mexico had seen 229,458 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 3,534 deaths among health personnel in Mexico between January 2020 and March 2021, according to its Epidemiological Update for COVID-19, as reported by MBN. These numbers place Mexico as the leading country in deaths of hospital workers and, as of March 2021, hospital worker deaths in Mexico doubled those of the US.
According to El País, the reason why many private hospitalPAH workers had not been administered a dose was the lack of a proper medical census, with many lists being “inflated.” Other victims of this problem are those who work at small pharmacies with consulting rooms administering COVID-19 tests, who amount to approximately 18,000 health workers. These workers are asking to be vaccinated and many argue they have not even received COVID-19-related training.
What About Spring Break?
With the arrival of spring break, many fear a spike in COVID-19 cases. According to MBN, there is the possibility of a third wave, as Quintana Roo, one of the country’s leading touristic hubs, reports a 200 percent spike in COVID-19 cases in Tulum. Bacalar and the Solidaridad municipalities reported a 50 percent and 40 percent increase, respectively. The numbers are concerning but Quintana Roo depends on tourism, with 87 percent of the state’s GDP coming from this industry, reports El País. According to numbers from the Hotel Association of Cancun, during spring break, hotels reported 70 percent of occupancy in the midst of a global pandemic. In Campeche, 5,308 people have been administered one dose and 17,626 have received both, explains El Financiero.