El Paso County Looking to Vaccinate 50,000 Juarez Workers
When it comes to major issues happening across the United States, El Paso is almost always going to be dealing with it differently that most other places. This is the reality of a border town. It has it's advantages and disadvantages. One thing that needs to be taken into account are people from Juarez making their way over to El Paso. This is why gaining herd immunity has been difficult. We can vaccinate El Pasoans all we want, but until those from Juarez are vaccinated, we won't be able to reach herd immunity.
El Paso County is helping out with these efforts by offering the Johnson and Johnson vaccine to Juarez residents starting today. El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego said:
I believe with all my heart that we need to have regional herd immunity. I can tell you that if we don't reach and help them, our herd immunity will drop significantly when we open the bridges.
Starting today, there will be four buses crossing the border at the Tornillo point of entry every 20 minutes, bringing 150 maquiladora workers to El Paso to get vaccinated. This isn't coming out of El Paso's pocket however. An agreement was reached that has Ciudad Juarez paying El Paso upfront for the vaccines. The total cost of the vaccines and services is roughly $500,000. Judge Samaniego added:
They are covering every single penny of the cost. That includes UMC (University Medical Center), that includes Emergency fire services with Chief (Roger) Esparza, so there is no cost to the taxpayer. We were not going to move until they made their deposit, so now they made their deposit and we are ready to move forward.
There will be 1,500 vaccines a day, with the first phase consisting of 30,000 vaccines, and the second phase having 20,000.