Mexico’s young adults are partying again, even as the nation is entering its third wave of coronavirus cases and the vaccination campaign has yet to reach those under 30.
The number of seriously ill patients between the ages of 60 and 69 has decreased so far this year as seniors receive their vaccinations, according to the country’s Health Secretariat. However, hospitalizations have more than doubled among 30- to 39-year-olds, who are just starting to get vaccinated. Only about 40% of adults in Mexico have received at least one dose of the vaccine.
Meanwhile, young people in their twenties go out in large numbers to restaurants and beer vendors in Mexico City, especially on the weekend. Few wear masks, and many stand shoulder to shoulder while singing or shouting.
However, young adults are also turning to vaccination centers, eager to get their fix.
Often the motivation for getting vaccinated is being able to return to work sites. While the Mexican government opposes vaccination being mandatory, it is clear that many believe that vaccinated people will be safer, and more accepted, in offices and other workplaces.
César Chávez Beltrán, 32, trained to receive his first dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in Mexico City. As a bank employee, you are in contact with other colleagues and with the public. They gave him time off from work to go get vaccinated.
“Obviously, in my work I told them that I was going to come to the vaccine and once I have put it on, I am going to rejoin my work,” said Chávez Beltrán.
The other great motivation is to get back to normal.
Luis David Díaz Sandoval, 30, works as an audio engineer at dance events and was among the first thirty-somethings to receive the vaccine.
“The truth has been many people who have died and hopefully with this we can have a little more control,” said the young man.
“We already see many parties, many colleagues who have suddenly been vaccinated and are walking around in the street, already without the mask, they already feel that this happened,” he said. “No, this I think is just beginning.”
Unlike other countries where youth opposition to vaccines has been seen, in Mexico the reluctance seems to come from older people living in rural states like Chiapas, where vaccination centers often look empty.
Mexico’s vaccination plan, once it gets enough doses, is to inoculate everyone over the age of 18, despite the fact that some unusual side effects have been reported among young people who have received the vaccines developed by Pfizer and AstraZeneca, which represent two-thirds of the doses in the country.
“The desirable thing is that all the people are protected, since it is very rare that the vaccine has undesirable effects”, indicated the Secretary of Health Jorge Alcocer.
Mexico entered its third wave of the coronavirus pandemic last week, after cases increased by 29% compared to the previous week.
But so far, in the most recent wave, only a quarter of the nation’s hospital beds have been filled. In the previous wave, all available beds in many parts of the country were filled
The health authorities of Mexico City indicated that they expect the third wave to reach its peak in August in the capital, which has been the most affected entity in the two previous waves.
So far, Mexico has reported more than 235,000 confirmed deaths from COVID-19, but because the country performs very few diagnostic tests for coronavirus, the government’s own figures on excess deaths indicate that the actual number is about 360,000 deaths.
Mexico is one of the few countries that has not suspended flights or required tourists to submit negative COVID-19 tests to enter the territory, and international tourism has helped drive the spike in infections in states that depend on it, such as Baja California Sur and Quintana Roo.
International tourists are also at risk of contracting the disease. Thirteen Bolivian students remain isolated in a Quintana Roo hotel after they became infected while vacationing in Mexico, although none have presented serious symptoms. Another 13 became ill, but recovered and returned to Bolivia, according to state authorities.
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.