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TIJUANA (Border Report) — The first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine are expected to arrive in Tijuana by Dec. 21, but residents are being told the vaccination won’t be the “final solution.”

Baja California’s Secretary of Health Alonso Óscar Pérez Rico said the vaccine takes time to generate antibodies and those who receive the shot still need between three and four weeks to see a benefit.

Alonso Pérez Rico is Baja California’s Secretary of Health. (Courtesy: Baja California)

Pérez Rico said when it’s all set and done, they expect vaccinations for only 60 percent of the population.

“The amount we’re getting won’t be enough to cover all residents,” he said. “Even by the first quarter of 2021, we won’t have enough.”

Pérez Rico stressed the best way for people to protect themselves is to continue wearing facemasks and to practice social distancing by avoiding gatherings of more than 10 people.

Tijuana, and the rest of Mexico, plan on distributing the vaccine to health workers first, followed by senior citizens

In Tijuana, according to Pérez Rico, 33 people died as a result of COVID-19 on Monday.

“If we can’t get this under control this week, we’re going to start the new year under more restrictions,” he said. “Everyone, especially those who cross the border between Mexico and the United States, must use facemasks and use them correctly to protect everyone.”

According to statistics, 73 percent of patients in area hospitals are COVID-19 patients, with 164 new reported cases. And the number of cases is at its highest since the pandemic began, according to Baja health officials.

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