With vaccine shortage, Mexico postpones goal to vaccinate older adults


Original vaccination plans in Mexico indicated all adults over the age of 60 would be vaccinated by March 31, however, due to shortages, the government has announced it would be April before all older adults would be vaccinated.

“The AstraZeneca vaccine is already being packaged in our country, and we are going to have enough doses. What is the purpose? That we achieve, in a first dose, vaccinate all older adults at the end of March… and finish the second dose in April ”, commented the President.

Last January, López Obrador said: “At the end of March we will have the entire population over 60 years vaccinated … and by April we will begin with those who are younger with chronic diseases.”

Last night, the Federal Ministry of Health confirmed 168,432 deaths from the virus. And to measure the damage left by the pandemic in a month, last January more than 32,000 deaths were documented in the country, which shows the seriousness of the health crisis in the country.

López Obrador stressed that Mexico is in 18th place worldwide in the application of doses.

Faced with criticism for the delays in the vaccination plan, the President of Mexico continues to blame his failures on opposition parties who want to see him fail, an excuse that has held strong with the president’s supporters.

Currently, Mexico is only vaccinating 3,000 people daily.

For now, the Ministry of Health indicated that 79,000 people have already received the complete vaccination, both doses, mainly in health workers, and many who don’t have enough vaccine for their second doses. Only one out of every 10 people vaccinated in Mexico have received a second dose.

Pharmaceutical Pfizer will resume weekly shipping of its new coronavirus vaccine from its plant in Belgium on February 15, after suspending distribution for three weeks. “Pfizer has already confirmed to us in a letter addressed to President Andrés Manuel López Obrador that the vaccines will arrive soon, there will be 491,400 and will arrive on February 15,” informed Hugo López-Gatell, Undersecretary of Health. The figure remains below the shipment of 781,000 doses committed by the laboratory, according to Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard.

Mexico was one of the first countries to start the application of the Pfizer drug on December 24, but so far it only received 766,000 doses, which prevented its goal of immunizing all front-line medical personnel (with 1.4 million units ).

Hugo López-Gatell attributed the delay in supply, interrupted on January 19, to the renovation of the Pfizer plant in Belgium and to the export controls that the European Union activated in January.

Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard showed the letter that the president of Pfizer in Mexico, María Constanza Losada, sent to the President to “reiterate support for the implementation of the national vaccination plan.” He reported the planned arrival of eight million doses of CanSino, a vaccine by China, for the next two months, which will be packaged in Querétaro. And he reiterated the arrival of vaccines from the Covax platform and an additional one million from AstraZeneca.

Although the contract with Russia has already been signed, the Foreign Minister said that there is no set date for the delivery of Sputnik V.

The European Union (EU) authorized a shipment of vaccines against COVID-19 to Mexico and guaranteed that in the future it will try to “quickly process” requests to export drugs to the country.

On January 29, due to delays in the production and delivery of vaccines, the European Union decided to control laboratory exports by establishing authorization requests for the shipment of drugs outside the community zone.

The Mexican Foreign Minister, Marcelo Ebrard, in charge of obtaining vaccines from abroad, then spoke with the High Representative for Foreign Policy of the European Union, Josep Borrell, to whom he expressed “concern” about this decision.

The Delegation of the EU in Mexico stressed that “to date, all export requests made to third countries have been authorized” and guaranteed that “in the future work will continue to process authorization requests quickly”. In addition, he recalled that Covax, a multilateral initiative of the World Health Organization (WHO) for the equitable supply of vaccines between countries, has been excluded from this control. “Mexico recognizes the decision of the European Union to facilitate shipments of vaccines to our country and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States,” Ebrard responded on social networks.


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