Mexico’s Deputy Health Minister Hugo Lopez-Gatell on Tuesday said the Latin American nation had signed a contract for Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine and would likely issue an emergency use authorization for it within hours.
Lopez-Gatell said the contract provided for 7.4 million doses between February and April, with more due to arrive in May.
“This gives us an enormous opportunity to accelerate vaccination in Mexico,” he said.
Latin American nations, including Argentina and Mexico, have shown an early interest in locking down supplies of the Russian vaccine.
Global interest in Sputnik V was bolstered on Tuesday after peer-reviewed results from its late-stage clinical trial were published in The Lancet international medical journal.
Sputnik V was 91.6% effective in preventing people from developing COVID-19, according to results published in The Lancet.
Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin last week about buying 24 million doses of the vaccine.
Lopez-Gatell met Russian officials and gained access to technical files about the vaccine during a trip to Argentina in January. Argentina started rolling out Sputnik V to health workers in December.
Mexico has also struck an agreement for 2 million vaccines produced by Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest vaccine producer by volume, in February and March, Mexico’s Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said on Tuesday.
Reporting by Ana Isabel Martinez; Writing by Drazen Jorgic; Editing by Frank Jack Daniel