Mexico City, Mexico — Mexico is on week 19 of a decrease in covid infections, a trend that some specialists attribute to the national vaccination program, the immunization of those who have already been infected and to the warmer climate.
“The decline in cases and deaths is likely due to a combination of vaccines, natural immunity after infection and perhaps the change of season as well,” said Emily Gurley, an associate scientist in the department of epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Gurley said that the immunity of the vaccine lasts longer than the immunity of the infection, although she warned that there could be another wave of infections ahead.
In January of this year, Mexico had a hospital occupancy rate of 90 percent, but on May 23, health authorities reported one of 13 percent. Now, specialized hospitals to treat COVID-19 are closing and the positive test rate, which was one of the highest in the world, has dropped to 17 percent.
Specialist are also saying the decrease in Mexico could be attributed to the lifting of the age restrictions for vaccinations in the U.S. In April, US President Joe Biden lifted the age restrictions on vaccinations, which may have resulted in Mexicans being vaccinated there.
Carlos del Río, an epidemiologist at Emory University in Atlanta said that many Mexicans have received vaccines in the US and agreed that a combination of factors is helping the pandemic decline.
Mexico reported 9.5 covid-related deaths per million inhabitants during the week of May 23, the lowest death rate in more than a year and below the rate of 80 deaths per million seen in early 2021.
Although there is no official data on how many Mexicans have traveled to the US to be vaccinated, some sources give indications. Passengers flying to cities in Texas more than doubled from February to March to about 305,000, according to US government data.
In March, Miami recorded a 76 percent increase in passengers from Mexico. The Mexico Travel Agents Association sold more than 170,000 vacation packages for people looking to fly.
In April, nearly 2.3 million people traveled between the US and Mexico, according to data from the Airlines for America trade association.
Regarding herd immunity, Mexico’s Undersecretary of Health, Hugo López-Gatell, reported that it won’t be until September when the effect takes place in the country. Earlier this week, a cross-border vaccination program between Tijuana and San Diego was announced. Once complete, the program will see another 10,000 people vaccinated.