No Flu Shots for Mexicans?

POSTED: Thursday, October 8, 2009 - 10:21am

UPDATED: Thursday, June 3, 2010 - 10:58pm

This week the H1N1 vaccine is starting to trickle into clinics in Arizona. In border communities some are concerned that the supply will be diminished by Mexican nationals crossing the border for a shot.

Every day Mexicans cross the border at Nogales, Arizona both legally and illegally. They come here to work, to shop, and sometimes to seek medical care. "They come over if they feel the treatment is better than Mexico," says Kevin Irvine with Santa Cruz County Emergency Service.

As H1N1 vaccines start to trickle into clinics across the US, some wonder if Mexican nationals will come across to get a shot, too. "We're not promoting that. We're promoting the flu shot in Mexico," says Sonora's Secretary of Health Bernardo Campillo Garcia. He says H1N1 vaccines should be available in Mexico by the end of the month. The country is expecting 30 million doses.

The Mexican government is spreading the same message we're hearing in the US: stay home if you're sick and practice good hygiene. "It's not much different between Arizona and Sonora we have very close numbers," Campillo Garcia says.

Santa Cruz County says H1N1 vaccines should start coming into the county this week. The county isn't expecting those who give the shot to check immigration status before they roll up they're sleeve. "They're pretty much there to provide medical service and assistance to people coming into their facilities. So what they chose to do is what they chose in a situation," Irvine says.

The health department says more and more doses of the vaccine will arrive week by week and there will be plenty to go around for those who want the vaccine.