Mexico vaccinates Pikachu, superheroes and a unicorn

By Eduard Ribas i Admetlla

Mexico City, Aug 19 (EFE).- Pikachu, Batman, Winnie the Pooh and a unicorn queued under a tent in the south of Mexico City on Thursday to be vaccinated against Covid-19.

Under a yellow suit, long ears and the unmistakable red cheeks of the most popular Pokémon, Roberto took the plunge to get a jab, despite his fears.

“I like Pikachu and it gives me courage because I don’t like needles. I like to dress up so I don’t get scared,” said the 24-year-old cook, who at the last moment decided on the famous electric mouse over Darth Vader.

To encourage the vaccination of young people, the mayor of Xochimilco called on the public to dress up for their innoculation, with books and pajamas delivered to those who garner the most ‘likes’ on social media.

Since the vaccination of those over 18 years old began weeks ago, the influx of young people has exceeded expectations.

“Everyone, come to get vaccinated. I had an uncle who had Covid recently and he did not get vaccinated,” Roberto said.

Thousands of people arrived at the city hall’s sports center on Thursday to receive their first dose of Pfizer, although few donned the costumes of their favorite characters.

Winnie the Pooh, Wonder Woman, wrestling characters and Susana Distancia, a superhero created by the Mexican government to promote social distancing, paraded before getting a vaccine.

The three-hour-long queue may have been discouraging for some, but 24-year-old Daniela was enthusiastic and dressed as a shark.

“We have all gone through difficult times and this will help reduce infections and so people do not die. It’s good that there are so many who want to be vaccinated,” she said while waving her fins.

Mexico is experiencing one of its worst periods of the pandemic, with Covid-19 having affected more than 3.15 million Mexicans, and claimed the lives of more than 250,000.

In the past day, the country registered a pandemic record number of daily cases, with more than 28,953, as well as the highest number of deaths in the current third wave, with 940.

To ‘knock out’ the coronavirus, Valeria attended the vaccination tent as an Aztec warrior, with a plume of feathers that attracted lots of attention.

“They have asked me for photos and they look at me a lot. It’s kind of funny because I left my comfort zone,” said the 19-year-old, whose final school year was interrupted by the pandemic.

After receiving the long-awaited vaccine, Valeria and others went through to the observation area, where Batman and Spiderman danced to reggaeton to liven up the wait.

Javier, 24, chose to be vaccinated as Supergrillo, a character with a cape and green antennae that he created for his trade as a children’s storyteller.

‘I wanted to get vaccinated from the first moment, but there is no problem, I am waiting with all the desire in the world,” said this cricket immune to insecticides, and now also to Covid.

Fernanda and Carlos arrived to receive their doses wearing a unicorn head and a horse head, respectively.

They dressed up for a day “to make this vaccination fun and make other people enjoy [it] for a while, because there are many young people who are scared and nervous,” Carlos said. EFE

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