ALFREDO AZCARATE VARELA
THE BAJA POST/EDITOR
Six thousand two hundred people received their first dose of the Pfizer COVID vaccine this Monday march 8, an operation that the Baja California health authority has called a massive vaccination, which means about 42 thousand doses for Mexicali senior citizens (people over 60 years old), altogether with three thousand people that were inoculated on the weekend, there are almost ten thousand seniors vaccinated in Mexicali.
Baja California Health secretary, Oscar Perez, said that there will be enough vaccines for everyone and that this is only the beginning, people over 60 years old will receive the vaccine during March and April, and there will be more vaccines arriving soon, but the elderly literally invaded the FEX Convention Center of Mexicali this Monday, March 8.
Vaccination was scheduled to start at 8 AM, but it was up until 8:30 when the FEX Convention Center doors opened for the elderly citizens (60 and older) who had been waiting for hours, some of them arrived on Sunday afternoon to stand in line outside the vaccination center, some of them told THE BAJA POST that they had been there for almost 24 hours waiting for Monday massive vaccination, after a “bumpy” weekend, where there was no order and only 3 thousand vaccines were provided.
There were issues regarding the logistics of the vaccination operation, people waiting in line were either thrilled or a little anxious, the waiting had been long, the expectations of going back to normal after getting the vaccine is something that won´t happen, according to some of them, a woman said that “we will never go back to life as it was before the COVID-19, “we have learned to live this way, a new normal as they say, this pandemics has changed the manner in which millions of people work and live”.
The so-called Nation Servants, wearing burgunbdy vests, were in charge of channeling people through the long lines and to the doors of the FEX center, were trying to help people, displaying different attitudes, some of them were very kind and polite while others were rude and had no patience to treat the elderly who were eager to get to the vaccination module, get their PFIZER shot and go back to their lockdown.
The Nation Servants are people who work for the Federal Government and are sent all over Mexico to do different jobs, a year ago; they were here to “operate” the logistics of the so-called “popular survey” that determined the fate of the Constellation Brands brewing plant in Mexicali, now they are coordinating the massive vaccination logistics, as if they were “multi task” and experts in a wide array of topics.
While some of them were rude to the so-called “grannies and grandpas”, others were very polite, the old men and women waiting in line complained for the lack of restrooms, and the line was more than a mile long, and they were not allowed inside the FEX to use the rest rooms, one little detail that the organizers in charge of logistics took in consideration, at about noon the sun was falling down on them and heat was on the rise, the “servants” started giving water bottles to the people.
At about 100 feet from them was the parking lot with 20 vaccination modules for those arriving in their cars, but the line of cars stretched as far as 5 miles, with more than three thousand cars with people inside waiting to get their POFIZER Covid.19 vaccine shots, waiting for several hours to get to the place, there were people who tried to “sneak in” in crossroads, taking advantage of the traffic lights but the cars were numbered and those “smart asses” didn´t succeed.
Natalia Padilla, from the Baja California city district, was the first in line in the massive vaccination, she was waiting for the doors to open, she said that she arrived Sunday morning at 7 o´clock, so she waited for more than 24 hours, her family took care of her and supplied water and food, and she was excited and a few minutes away from getting her vaccine.