EL PASO, Texas -- Mexican consulate officials, Ciudad Juarez maquiladoras representatives and El Paso County leaders were participating in an international meeting in downtown El Paso on Monday evening to talk about the logistics involved in getting more than 30,000 maquiladoras employees vaccinated against Covid-19 before the U.S. ports of entry reopen.
The discussions emerged out of a proposal recently shared with ABC-7 by El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego to vaccinate Mexican factory workers in an effort to reach heard immunity from Covid-19 in the Borderland region.
Under the judge's plan as described to ABC-7, Mexican nationals would be transported by buses from Juarez plants to get vaccinated at an El Paso County facility to be set up in Tornillo, utilizing tens of thousands of surplus Johnson & Johnson single-dose shots that are not being used and would otherwise go to waste.
The planning for this large-scale vaccination effort comes in the hopes that the U.S.-Mexico border closure to non-essential travel might be lifted next month. The U.S. government on Monday extended the ongoing pandemic border restrictions for yet another month, until July 21.
The retail and tourism economy in downtown El Paso has suffered throughout the border shutdown.