A popular Mexican TV host is being slammed for traveling to Miami to get a COVID-19 vaccine shot

Ashley Collman
·3 min read
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Mexican TV host Juan José Origel. Adrián Monroy/Medios y Media/Getty Images
  • Juan José Origel tweeted a picture showing him getting a COVID-19 vaccine shot in Miami on Saturday.

  • The Mexican TV host thanked the US for the opportunity and called his country's vaccine rollout "sad."

  • Commenters called Origel "selfish" and said he should have waited for his turn in Mexico.

  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

A popular Mexican TV host Juan José Origel, 73, has been heavily criticized for traveling to Miami, Florida, over the weekend to get a coronavirus vaccine shot.

Origel, who hosts daytime TV shows in Mexico, boasted about getting vaccinated in a Saturday tweet, posting a picture of him getting the shot and thanking the US for the opportunity.

He also remarked that it was "sad that my country didn't offer me that security."

The post quickly set off many Twitter users who called Origel "selfish" and said he should have waited his turn back in Mexico.

"I have several relatives in the United States and only one niece who works in the health sector has been vaccinated. Why has Pepilla already been vaccinated?" one Twitter user wrote, referring to Origel's nickname.

Another person tweeted that Origel should not have got a vaccine over "someone who lives here and pays taxes."

A Twitter user named Javier called Origel "vile and miserable" and said he "insulted the vast majority of Mexicans who do not have the resources to get vaccinated in the United States."

"Do you feel above the doctors who have risked their lives since the pandemic began?" asked another Twitter user named Carlos Cervera Valencia.

Read more: More than 200 coronavirus vaccines are still in development as the initial vaccine rollout ramps up. Here's how experts anticipate 2021 playing out.

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A sign advertises a drive-thru vaccination center in Orlando, Florida, on January 26, 2021. Paul Hennessy/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Origel defended his decision to get the vaccine in the US when confronted by reporters at the airport upon his return to Mexico.

"Look, I think there are envious people everywhere. I'm fine, I'm grateful, what can I do?" Origel said, according to the Milenio newspaper.

Origel said a friend told him about a program where one could apply for a vaccine, and he was accepted. He said he forgot the name of the website where he applied or what the service was called, Milenio reported.

The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this month that foreigners - especially from Canada and Latin America -were flocking to Florida to get the vaccine, as it's one of the first states to offer COVID-19 shots to people age 65 and over.

Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida told the paper that he had no issue with people who have second homes in the state getting vaccinated, but that tourists with no roots in the state shouldn't be taking advantage of the system.

"If they have a residence and they're not just kind of flying by night for a week or two, I'm totally fine with that," DeSantis said. "That's a little bit different than somebody that's just doing tourism and trying to come here. So we're discouraging people to come to Florida just to get a vaccine."

The Florida Department of Health has said it would investigate any reported misuse of the system. Insider reached out to the department for comment on Origel's vaccination on Wednesday, but did not immediately receive a response.

Health workers are currently the only segment of society cleared to get a vaccination in Mexico. The country has distributed 300,000 vaccines so far, according to Al Día Dallas, since it is working with a limited supply of the Pfizer vaccine.

For comparison, the US has administered more than 23 million doses so far, according to the Centers of Disease and Control Prevention.

Mexico did recently finalize a get 24 million doses of Russia's Sputnik V vaccine.

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