Expats are getting the COVID-19 vaccine in Mexico. Today my American grandmother, parents, and mom-in-law received their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine. We are expats but despite this fact, with their passports and a utility bill, they were welcomed and given the vaccine for COVID-19.
Vaccines started for the general population over age 60 in Uruapan, Michoacan last Monday, March 8th. Those that registered online were the first to receive the vaccine in alphabetical order day by day. As expats without a Curp, which is an identification code received from the Mexican government, we could not register online.
We waited patiently and at the end of the week, I approached a member of the vaccine brigade at the nearest vaccination location. I asked about my family and here we are today. Waiting for our turn to get poked by a needle. Well, not me. I am 41 so I will have to wait a while longer.
We were up at 5:30 this morning. Too early for me. I wore my glasses instead of my contacts because of the hour, and now I deeply regret it. My breath from my mask keeps fogging up my lens. So annoying.
When we arrived they kindly let us go to the front of the line because my father and my grandmother are both wheelchair-bound. They took our temperature, masks were required, and hand sanitizer was flowing.
They brought a wheelchair out for my father, as he left his electric wheelchair at home, and we walked quite a distance to a large basketball stadium to have the vaccine administered. All the elderly individuals were allowed one companion and I was grateful I could attend as I could translate for my family.
Medical information was recorded. They asked me how old my father was and I asked him how old he was in Spanish. My dad, who speaks no Spanish, said, “What?” The nurses and I started laughing. That is what happens when you have two languages in your head. I am not fluent, but there’s enough Spanish up there to get it confused with my English.
They all received a paper stating that they received the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine. When they return in 21 to 42 days, they will bring their passports and this paper proving they received the first dose.
We were told there could be a little pain from the shot and Tylenol should suffice. All prescription medications could continue on schedule and no alcoholic beverages for 72 hours.
The total time spent at the vaccination location was about three hours. After the vaccine was administered they had to wait for about 30 minutes to make sure there were no immediate side effects. So far not one of my family members has had any negative side effects.
Everyone who helped with the vaccine brigade was very professional and kind. We are very happy with the care we received. We are very thankful that they allowed us to receive the vaccine although we are not Mexico citizens and only expats.
It turns out one of the crew was a neighbor of mine and he recognized me. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same, but as the only white folks in the neighborhood, we do tend to stand out from the crowd so I happily gave him a fist bump and a thank you.
So this is our story about receiving the COVID-19 vaccine in Mexico as expats. At least this is the first part of our story. It will continue over the next few months.
We have lived here for over seven years and my boys have received several vaccines over the years. Vaccines that they would normally have gotten in the US. This is despite the fact that we are not Mexican and we have no form of citizenship here, only Visas.
Because of this positive experience, I was pretty sure that we would be able to be vaccinated for COVID-19. We just needed patience and the courage to ask.
I love Mexico and this is only another reason why. They are helping us and caring for us just as their own people during this crazy pandemic. This is truly something to be thankful for.
This is Tina in Mexico, signing off, and hoping that our experience will help you.
Originally published March 15, 2021
A ridiculous amount of coffee was consumed in the process of creating this project. Add some fuel if you'd like to keep me going ;-) Gracias!