Head Consul Alfonso Navarro Bernachi, Consulate of Mexico was among the 200 that received their vaccine. Navarro - Bernachi said he wanted to communicate the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine.



BY JOE ARCE AND COREY CRABLE


The Consulate of Mexico and Truman Medical Center put Kansas City people on the path to protection against COVID-19 at a vaccination clinic late last month.


Workers at the clinic, which took place at the consulate’s offices in Kansas City, MO, administered more than 200 doses of the Pfizer vaccine. Those eligible to receive the vaccine were those with previous appointments, those disproportionately affected by the spread of the global pandemic, and those deemed workers essential to the state’s economy.


“We are eager that most of those vaccines are going to women. The Latino population has been disproportionately affected (by COVID-19), but women in particular,” said Head Consul Alfonso Navarro. “We are really excited to have this opportunity with Truman Medical Center as well.”


In a press release, Navarro said he wanted to communicate the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine.


“We hope that this activity will also contribute to send the message that vaccines are safe and that the Mexican, Hispanic and Latino populations can access them in an equitable way,” he stated in the press release. “The application of these vaccines is a recognition of the resilience and effort of the community of Mexican origin, which continued to perform with dignity and courage during the pandemic, in services considered essential such as food processing, restaurants, agricultural activities and the health sector.”


Besides clients and local residents, dignitaries such as U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II (D-MO) were on hand to celebrate the event.


“Of the minority groups in the country, the largest are Latinos and African-Americans. They have not responded (to being vaccinated) in the numbers we would have liked, so we have to do all we can to demonstrate that the vaccines are safe,” Cleaver said. “Having it at the consulate here demonstrates that it is safe.”


Cleaver said he is relieved to know that the number of reported COVID cases in the state is trending downward, but he urged everyone to remain diligent in their adherence to good health practices.


“This thing is not over. A lot of people think they can let their guard down and return to life as usual,” Cleaver said. “And we will, in a few months, but right now, the medical (community) has been clear that this is effective in stopping the spread of COVID-19.”


Dr. Randall Williams, director of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, said the event would not have been possible without the cooperation and teamwork between multiple organizations.


“We’re so appreciative of our partners here, most of all the consulate. They reached out months ago and said, ‘How can we help?’” Williams told local media representatives. “What we most appreciate is the cooperation of the consulate and the willingness of the mayor and the health department and Truman to work together.”


Williams, who said that Missouri has reported the least number of new COVID cases per 100,000 citizens over the past week, echoed Cleaver’s sentiment about staying active in the fight against the virus – a fight that’s not over yet.


“At this moment in time, we still think it is incredibly important to wear a mask, to social distance, to use hand sanitizer,” he said. “We are aware the UK variant makes up about 30 percent of the cases here in the U.S. It’s more infectious. It’s more deadly. People must continue to be vigilant.”


For more information, call the Consulate of Mexico in Kansas City at (816) 556-0800 or visit https://consulmex.sre.gob.mx/kansascity/.