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Auto suppliers join Mexico’s COVID-19 vaccine push

Two auto suppliers are helping Mexico vaccinate more of its citizens against COVID-19 as part of the country’s effort to reopen the U.S. border to nonessential travelers.

Thousands of people received shots of the Pfizer vaccine during clinics last week held in Aptiv and Lear Corp. plants and parking lots in Ciudad Juarez, which is just across the border from El Paso, Texas, Reuters reported.

Mexico is trying to increase vaccination rates in the northern part of the country to help make a case for easing border-crossing restrictions. Ciudad Juarez has numerous suppliers to the U.S. auto industry and was an infection hot spot in the early days of the pandemic. About 20 workers died from the coronavirus at one Lear plant.

Lear, which makes trim seat covers for Mercedes-Benz and Ford Motor Co., set up rows of chairs to start inoculating 20,000 workers, family members and members of the public.

Aptiv opened a parking lot to commuter buses filled with its own workers and other companies’ employees, and health care workers administered shots row by row.

Lear and Aptiv are not requiring their employees to get vaccinated but say they highly recommend getting the shots.

“We’re doing our part with the government to help bring health and some normality back to our community, and open the border,” Vanya Gonzalez, a spokeswoman for Aptiv, told Reuters.

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