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Entire towns in Mexico reject covid-19 vaccines

2021-03-02T16:52:20.960Z

In Aldama, a small town of about 7,000 people located in the central highlands of the southern Mexican state of Chiapas, some people say they will not be vaccinated. And it is not the only town that has said it.



In this town they do not want to be vaccinated against covid-19 3:15

(CNN) -

For the president of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, vaccinating all Mexicans is a matter of responsible national health policy, as well as social justice.

"Vaccines will begin to arrive little by little," he said on February 15, during his daily morning press conference, a week after returning to public activities after contracting COVID-19.

“Today we launched our vaccination plan and it will not stop.

We will continue with the objective of vaccinating all people, in accordance with pre-established priorities, ”added the president.

But there are already clear signs that not all Mexicans are ready or willing to receive an injection in the arm.


In Aldama, a small town of about 7,000 people located in the central highlands of the southern Mexican state of Chiapas, some people say they will not be vaccinated, regardless of any vaccination plan or where the vaccine comes from.

Why am I going to put it on?

Yes I'm good (sic).

It's not good that I'm going to forcefully say that, yes, no, I don't know, ”Aldama resident María Magdalena López Santís told CNN, speaking in limited Spanish.

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Indigenous communities like Aldama have a history of distrust of the federal government.

At best, community leaders say, they have been ignored.

At worst, they have been the victims of land grabs, discrimination, abuse, and attacks.

This time around, it appears the lack of information and conspiracy theories that have spread in the region like wildfire are to blame for their doubts about vaccines.

Tomás López Pérez, Aldama's municipal secretary, told CNN that the people there, including himself, strongly believe that vaccines can do more harm than good.

LOOK: Trump and Melania were secretly vaccinated.

Why is this important?

«It is that people have or are misinformed in this case, they think or really, in the case of us since we do not know very well what the vaccines are made of, or they react or we think that it brings the virus directly with the vaccines, that would be the main reason why they don't want to vaccinate, "Lopez told CNN.

Since many people in those cities communicate in their native dialects, government information on their strategy for the COVID-19 pandemic in many cases is lost in translation.

But in a way, Aldama has also been lucky.

Its residents, mainly the Tzotzil Mayans, rarely travel to large cities and very few people visit them, which spares the city the worst of the pandemic, and means that many residents do not see the need to get vaccinated.

LOOK: Dr. Huerta: All vaccines will prevent serious illness and death from covid-19

Local officials proudly claim that no one here has been infected by the coronavirus, although health officials were unable to confirm that claim.

However, the city was closed for several months, at the same time that the federal government imposed restrictions across the country.

Adolfo Victorio López Gómez, mayor of the city of Aldama, told CNN that he also credits traditional medicine for the low impact of COVID-19 in the city and is confident in its effectiveness.

"Fortunately, we had there the ancient ideas regarding traditional medicines that, from a moment, we landed and our grandparents, great-great-grandparents or our pasts were asked to comment more on traditional medicine, which fortunately helped us a lot," said López .

Indigenous peoples like Aldama are autonomous.

The Mexican constitution allows peoples like these to govern themselves under the principle of "traditions and customs."

It is not the only town in Mexico that refuses to be vaccinated

In 2018, there were 421 municipalities in Mexico with this designation out of a total of 2,469 (17%).

And it is not the only town in southern Mexico where people refuse to get vaccinated.

Earlier this month, José López López, mayor of San Juan Cancuc, another indigenous town located in the central highlands of Chiapas, sent a letter to state health authorities, informing them of his municipality's decision to reject any vaccine.

In the letter, López writes that the municipality of 24,000 inhabitants, made up of 45 communities, held a meeting at the end of January in which the village elders decided that "the vaccination campaign will not be allowed."

The letter also talks about "benefits and possible adverse effects" of the vaccine.

LOOK: The distribution of a third vaccine against covid-19 in the US begins, while concerns about new cases and variants increase

The Chiapas State Health Secretariat responded that it respects the autonomy of indigenous populations, although officials insisted that they will continue to promote dialogue with those communities for the good of the health of all.

The governor of Chiapas, Rutilio Escandón, has recently focused on debunking conspiracy theories and falsehoods about the COVID-19 vaccine.

In Chiapas we are doing well and we continue to advance in vaccination against # COVID_19.

We recommend that the people of Chiapas not fall for the farce of those who are profiting from health through social networks by selling vaccines, because they are universal and free.

pic.twitter.com/zXxcs7FgJR

- Rutilio Escandón (@RutilioEscandon) February 23, 2021

"We recommend that the people of Chiapas not fall for the farce of those who are profiting from health through social networks by selling vaccines, because they are universal and free," Escandón said on Twitter.

When asked specifically about the indigenous communities of Chiapas that refuse to be vaccinated, President López Obrador said during his morning press conference that no one will be forced to get vaccinated against the coronavirus.

"Everything is voluntary," said the president.

«I repeat: nothing by force, but everything by reason and law.

[We must] convince, persuade, inform, guide, raise awareness, without imposing anything.

Krupskaia Alís in Mexico City contributed to this report.

Vaccine

Source: cnnespanol

All news articles on 2021-03-02

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