MEXICO CITY — Someone in a Charlie Brown costume frantically waves hello. A person dressed as a monkey pretends to take photos with a stuffed camera. An elderly man who just got his second shot of the Pfizer vaccine grabs a microphone and starts singing very loudly.
“I’m 78, but they tell me I look 75 and a half,” the man said gleefully, the assessment supported by his apparent lung strength as he belted out a ranchera song with abandon.
In a bid to improve their customer service, vaccination centers in Mexico’s capital now come with a slate of entertainment options, including dancing, yoga, live operatic performances and the chance to watch large, bare-chested Lucha Libre wrestlers do the limbo.
The goal is to make the process as appealing as possible, said a woman leading a singing and dancing performance for people waiting for a shot at a military parade ground in Mexico City on a recent Wednesday.
virus in Latin America and the sputtering vaccination efforts in many of its countries. Concerns have been compounded recently by the rapid spread of a virus variant first discovered in Brazil.
At the vaccination center in Mexico City, women in white shirts led the crowd in various yoga poses that could be done in wheelchairs. Men performed tricks with a surprising number of soccer balls. A professional opera singer congratulated everyone.
the third highest coronavirus death toll worldwide, where the government resisted imposing strict lockdowns, fearing damage to the economy, and which has not tested widely, arguing it is a waste of money.
Many believe that the only escape from this nightmare is mass vaccination, but the campaign had been moving glacially. By mid-April, though, the pace has picked up nationally — and after some messiness in the beginning, the nation’s capital has gotten better at efficiently getting shots into arms.
“We quickly realized that with the strategy we had in place, we couldn’t attend to seniors with the level of service they deserved,” said Eduardo Clark, who helps coordinate the city’s vaccination program.