Getting a Little Boost

November 12, 2021

Paul and I were happy to line up for Covid-19 vaccines here in México back in March and May of 2021. Our age group here at Lake Chapala was given the Sinovac vaccine.

When it became clear that we would all need booster shots to extend their efficacy, I started watching the news and Twitter for what was being recommended for those of us vaccinated with Sinovac. It took a while, but finally I learned that a number of countries were recommending Pfizer as a follow up to those vaccinated with Sinovac.

I had read that the Mexican government was not planning on offering booster shots and that people under 18 would not be given vaccines unless they have a special need. Update: Registration is now beginning for ages 15 to 17. The fourth wave is expected here due to waning immunity, lack of immunizations in young people, and the coming indoor winter season.

There is a lot of controversy about whether it is first-world privilege for people of means to do like we did and fly to the US for a booster shot. But I feel lucky to have the ability to care for our health and the health of others in this way. I am sorry that so many world wide haven’t even had a first vaccine but I don’t see a connection to my taking a booster shot in the US. Please don’t argue with me about it, we made our decision to get it and I’m sure anyone who wanted one would have done the same if possible.

So we flew to Tijuana and walked across the CBX bridge to the US. It was our first time doing this and it was very easy. On the US side we got an Uber to Chula Vista, a suburb of San Diego. We had an appointment at a pharmacy for the Pfizer vaccine in the afternoon, so first we headed to Target for a bit of shopping, mostly for vitamins. By then it was lunchtime so we headed to Chipotle. This was Paul’s first trip back to the US since 2010, and he’d never eaten at the chain. That’s us having lunch outside at the top of the post.

From there we walked all around this retail area, and except in the parking lot we were the only ones on foot. In our lives in México we take the car out maybe once every three weeks so walking everywhere seems normal – there it was not! A couple of times we crossed a street in a crosswalk to be greeted by bushes and no where to walk except the street!

The overview of the retail area

I wear a Fitbit tracker and I think it’s funny (?) that from Trader Joe’s at the top to Von’s at the bottom is 2,712 feet or 1/2 mile. We walked a round trip (very round about round trip) and walked over 5 miles (not counting the airport, etc). Part of the reason is that you can’t get from one retail pad to another without walking a long way around. I think from Target to Trader Joe’s is about a block as the crow flies but we had to walk a long loop around that I imagine was more than a mile. I just can’t imagine living such a car centered life anymore.

Here’s one place where we had to walk in the street to enter the retail center!

We stayed overnight in a hotel nearby and returned the next day. We had no problems from the vaccine except for sore arms. Maybe we’ll have to do the same thing again in another six months to a year, but it was nice to find out how easy it was. I also loved that of our three Uber and Lyft rides, all three were hybrid cars. The parking lot near Wells Fargo Bank had a long bunch of Tesla charging stations too.

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More about Nancy

I'm Nancy, a US expat living in San Antonio Tlayacapan, Jalisco after 11 years in Mazatlán, México.

    1. Thanks for sharing your adventure – glad it went so smoothly.

      1. Kathi, it went great for us but a friend who did the same a couple of days earlier had a nightmare Volaris both going and coming and ended up sleeping in the TJ airport. We were nervous that would happen to us too!

      1. Jan one thing we learned is that it is foggy in TJ during Oct, Nov, Dec so make your reservations to avoid the early morning. Hope you have fun! Oh, wear comfortable shoes, ha ha!

    1. Hello, my name is Raul. I am retired, and I am planning a trip into Mexico very soon. Hopefully in December. I will be traveling in an RV and towing a vehicle. My question is, is it safe to travel without a caravan? I want to travel alone. My Spanish is very good.

    1. Hi Nancy, Thank you for this…we have reservations for Dec. 1st, and its just a day trip. I’ll be calling you for more info. Fantastic…thanks for paving the way!

    1. I have thought of doing something similar on my monthly trips to Oregon.

      I am one of the people who believes it is bad public policy for the rich countries to be providing boosters before a certain percentage of the rest of the world is vaccinated. Having said that, there is a huge distinction between individual actions and public policy. What you did was legal and (we hope) efficacious. And I intend to follow right after you. With flights planned this winter to the Caribbean, Argentina, and Canada (plus Spain, if that finally works out), I am willing to get as much help as I can.

      1. Hi Steve, Enjoy all that travel! Good thing all your air travel isn’t on Volaris or it would be a nightmare. My poor rear end, the seats are hard as a rock!

        1. Thanks for the Volaris warning. Having (partially) followed your suggestions for my revised eating regimen, I do not have adequate padding on my own seat.

    1. I found it amusing that Paul chose Chipotles. I like their food well enough for fast food, but I thought it funny to choose Mexican inspired fast food on a trip to the US.
      Congrats on your booster. I’m visiting my dad in Florida, and before I booked my flight I found out that entering the US from Canada required vaccinations of their approved types, which didn’t include my first AZ (my 2nd was Pf). Then the next day, it was OK.
      I also need a cheap negative test to enter the US, but an expensive one to return to Canada. The test is only checked at the airline counter. I walked out of the terminal in Florida without having to talk to anyone (gracias a dios).
      It adds a new, bewildering level of bureaucracy to travel.

      1. Hi Michael! Let’s see, the other options in the retail area: Ihop, Arby’s, Papagayo’s (indoors) and Starbucks. Plus Chipotle’s is the way we eat! Rice and beans and veg and avocado. Are you planning on heading to Mexico this winter? Nice to hear from you, hope you and all your loved ones are well. xoxo

    1. hello Nancy I would appreciate you forwarding the transcendental meditation teacher you used in Guadalajara. thanks!

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