CIUDAD JUAREZ -- Auto suppliers Aptiv PLC and Lear Corp. turned their plants and parking lots in the northern Mexico border city of Ciudad Juarez into COVID-19 vaccination centers on Monday, ushering in hundreds of workers from companies across the city to get shots.
Mexico is ramping up inoculations in the country's north for people aged 18 and older after months of restrictions on border crossings into the U.S. amid concerns over local infection rates.
Ciudad Juarez was a hotspot of infection early in the pandemic, prompting worries that the coronavirus was spreading within the city's numerous factories, including many plants that serve the U.S. autos sector.
Within the first few months of the pandemic, some 20 workers died from the coronavirus at a single Lear plant.
The company, which makes trim seat covers for Mercedes-Benz and Ford, on Monday set up rows of chairs inside one of its plants to begin vaccinating 20,000 workers, their families and members of the public.
Aptiv, an auto technology supplier with roots back to the former Delphi Corp., began vaccinations in one of its parking lots, sending health workers onto commuter buses to give the jabs to workers from Aptiv and other companies, row by row. The effort is intended to reach 50,000 people.
Both Lear and Aptiv said the vaccinations, with shots from Pfizer, were not required for their workers but highly recommended.
"We're doing our part with the government to help bring health and some normality back to our community, and open the border," said Vanya Gonzalez, a spokeswoman for Aptiv.