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One million Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines are heading to Mexico from the U.S., with most of the shots set to service resort areas and spots along the border.
The batch of vaccines are part of the 25 million excess doses the White House announced on Thursday would be shipped to other countries around the world. Much of the vaccine distribution will be through COVAX, an international system aimed at helping vaccinate people in the world’s poorest countries.
In a bid to boost the country’s economy, Assistant Health Secretary Hugo López-Gatell said much of those 1 million vaccines will be sent to Caribbean resort hotspots like Cancún, Pacific coast resorts like Los Cabos, and cities along the U.S. border.
Mexico has been hard hit by the coronavirus and has struggled to control its spread.
According to government data, Mexico, a country of roughly 130 million, has given more than 23.2 million adults in the country at least one shot of a COVID-19 vaccine. As of Thursday night, Johns Hopkins University’s Coronavirus Tracker reports more than 2.4 million confirmed coronavirus cases in Mexico with more than 228,000 deaths.
Government officials have indicated the actual death toll from the pandemic is likely far higher, according to the Associated Press., with a preliminary assessment suggestion more than 350,000 excess deaths, 54% above the official toll.