After Teacher Vaccination, Mexico Anticipates Returning To In-Person Classes

After more than a year of online education, Mexicans are looking forward to returning to in-person classes after the teachers get the CanSino vaccine.

“It is good for colleagues at all levels that the government is concerned about vaccinating us all against COVID-19,” said Gloria del Carmen León Solano, a teacher at the Estefanía Castañeda Kindergarten, from the Úrsulo Galván municipality, in Veracruz.

The Federal Health Ministry implemented the COVID-19 vaccination plan for school personnel in five states: Chiapas, Coahuila, Nayarit, Tamaulipas and Veracruz.

Teachers stand in line for the COVID-19 vaccine. There were long lines, but also relieved teachers. (Charlie Moron/Café Words)

“Let’s hope that the return to the classrooms takes place without any setback and that little by little, we recover our daily life, including greeting co-workers and seeing students again,” said the teacher.

Vaccine distribution began in different parts of Veracruz this week. To receive it, teachers can visit the World Trade Center, in Boca del Río; the Livestock Expo, in Tuxpan; the Orizaba Forum, in Orizaba; the Instituto Tecnológico Superior de Coatzacoalcos (ITESCO) in Coatzacoalcos; and the University in Xalapa, with three branches: Nido Halcón, UV Gymnasium and School of Engineering.

This strategy is part of the Roadrunner national vaccination plan against COVID-19.

Immunizations in Veracruz will take place April 20–24, and 197,430 education employees will receive their shots.

Vaccines were administered in an orderly and rapid manner despite the large number of teachers. (Charlie Moron/Café Words)

On the first vaccination day, thousands of teachers gathered early in the morning at the World Trade Center in Boca del Río, Veracruz. Some of them stood overnight in a line that ended up surrounding the premises and reaching the adjacent mall.

“Many teachers came without fear of the vaccine,” said Lourdes Huesca Ríos, a 45-year-old teacher at the Niños Héroes school in Boca del Río.

“Those of us who are here resort to what is available for our health. I just got the shot, and I don’t feel bad. I don’t have any pain, just the discomfort of the sting, but that is normal,” she said.

Nobody complains about the line. People were expecting it, and there were no delays.

“The process of standing in line was a bit slow. But given the number of teachers waiting to get the COVID-19 vaccine, I think it was quick,” said Huesca Ríos.

As part of the process, the Veracruz state government will begin the school cleanup and disinfection process. Teachers, school workers and students will have to follow strict hygiene protocols to return to classrooms. In-person instruction will be possible as long as the epidemiological traffic light remains green.

(Translated and edited by Gabriela Olmos. Edited by Kristen Butler)

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