Mexico City (AP) —Mexico health officials said on Friday that 14 of the country’s approximately 2,600 townships refused permission from vaccination teams to administer anti-coronavirus, and convoys transporting vaccines in another country He said he had been attacked by force in the area.
The military said shooters fired at soldiers escorting vaccine transport in western Michoacan. No one was injured and the convoy delivered the vaccine. However, when the soldier returned to the scene, the shooter fired again. A man was arrested and five assault rifles were confiscated.
Also on Friday, Deputy Health Director Hugo Lopez Gatel said the town was mainly concentrated in the very southern states of Chiapas and Oaxaca.
He quoted only “cultural and perhaps religious beliefs” and did not specify why those communities did not want to be vaccinated.
López-Gatell said the decision to reject the vaccine was made by the town council, adding that “we respect that decision.” He said authorities are trying to make plans for people who want vaccines to get them in neighboring towns.
Indigenous peoples in southern Mexico have some degree of autonomy, some governed by traditional “use and custom” schemes without political parties or formal elections.
Some of the towns of Chiapas, dominated by Zapatista rebels, rejected other government programs, but it was unclear if they were among those who rejected the vaccine.
Local media in Chiapas reported that some communities did not believe in the vaccine, or did not think there were enough local cases to justify it.
Mexico is currently immunizing people over the age of 60, as well as some healthcare professionals and teachers. Mexico has given nearly 13.5 million doses so far, but in 126 million countries it is still small.
Mexico has reported deaths confirmed by 211,693 tests, but authorities have confirmed that the actual casualties are over 330,000, as the country rarely tests.