No Green Light for AstraZeneca Vaccine in Mexico

Mexico denies AstraZeneca's vaccine, greenlights Pfizer's Comirnaty, engages in high-stakes diplomacy, sees justice served in a criminal arrest, confronts security challenges, and deals with extreme weather conditions.

No Green Light for AstraZeneca Vaccine in Mexico
Mexico's vaccine hiccup: AstraZeneca denied, Pfizer shines. Photo by Daniel Schludi / Unsplash

In a week of twists and turns, Mexico finds itself at the crossroads of vaccine authorizations, diplomatic negotiations, and security challenges. Let's dive into the latest events that have been making headlines south of the border.

AstraZeneca's Vaccine Faces A Mexican Roadblock

Mexico's Federal Commission for Protection against Health Risks (Cofepris) recently threw a curveball in the ongoing battle against Covid-19. The New Molecules Committee of Cofepris refused to give a favorable opinion for AstraZeneca's vaccine, known as Vaxzevria, to be marketed in Mexico. Their rationale? The vaccine supposedly failed to prove its effectiveness against the new Omicron variants in clinical studies. This decision effectively halts the transition from Emergency Use Authorization to Sanitary Registration for AstraZeneca in Mexico. However, it's worth noting that the vaccine still retains its Emergency Use Authorization, thanks to a nod from the World Health Organization (WHO).

Pfizer's Comirnaty Gets Greenlight

On a brighter note, the New Molecules Committee gave a thumbs up for Pfizer's Comirnaty vaccine. This mRNA-based vaccine, updated to combat the Omicron XBB.1.5 seasonal variant, received its initial approval on the path to full sanitary registration. If all the stages of this process are successfully completed, Comirnaty will soon be commercially available in Mexico. The WHO's recommendation provided a crucial boost to this vaccine's journey.

Venezuela and Mexico's Diplomacy

In the world of diplomacy, the head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Alicia Bárcena, recently met with Venezuela's President, Nicolás Maduro. The meeting, held in the Miraflores Palace, reaffirmed Venezuela's participation in the “Meeting for a Fraternal Neighborhood with Well-Being,” scheduled for October 22 in Mexico. Discussions were described as fruitful, with a focus on bilateral relations and human mobility issues. This diplomatic meeting showcases Mexico's continued efforts to strengthen its ties in the region.

Hamas Negotiations for Mexican Hostages

In a tense international affair, Mexico's Ministry of Foreign Affairs is seeking contact with Hamas and related governments and organizations. Their mission? To secure the release of Mexicans Orión Hernández and Ilana Gritzewsky, who were kidnapped by the Islamist militia. Additionally, contact is being established with the Israeli government to facilitate the safe departure of anesthesiologist Bárbara Lango, who found herself in Gaza during the conflict's outbreak. These negotiations reflect the challenges and complexities of global diplomacy.

Arrest of Criminal Group Leader

Journalist Ciro Gómez Leyva reported the arrest of Armando “N,” also known as El Patrón, the alleged leader of the criminal group responsible for the attack against him in December 2022. Mexican authorities have notified the arrest in California, United States, a development that promises more details in the near future. The Attorney General's Office also reported the provisional arrest for extradition of Armando “E” for involvement in the criminal association responsible for the attack on Ciro Gómez Leyva. This serves as a reminder that justice, though delayed, can eventually be served.

Supreme Court's Nod to Sonora's Electoral Reform

Mexico's Supreme Court of Justice made a crucial decision, endorsing a reform approved in Sonora. This reform limits the term of the Governor elected in 2027 to three years, aligning state elections with the federal elections of 2030. Despite challenges from various political parties, including PRI, PAN, PRD, and Movimiento Ciudadano, the Plenary of the Court unanimously supported the reform. The court found that the legislative process's problems and a lack of evaluation of the reform's economic impact were not sufficient grounds for annulment.

Security Concerns and Family Heartache

On a somber note, an armed group kidnapped Omar Luis Rivera in the Lomas de Santa María neighborhood in Tlaquepaque. His mother, Sandra, is no stranger to tragedy, as she lost another son who disappeared a year ago. Her situation led her to join search groups, highlighting the harrowing security challenges faced by some in Mexico.

Targeted Attack on Municipal President's Home

In an alarming incident, the municipal president of San Jeronimo, Glafira Meraza Prudente, faced a targeted attack at her home. Two individuals on a motorcycle fired upon her house with an AR-15 rifle in the early hours of the morning. Fortunately, no injuries were reported. Security camera footage captured the attack, further underscoring the complex security situation in some Mexican municipalities.

Cold Front and Rain

Finally, as if dealing with all these challenges wasn't enough, Mexico faces weather woes. Cold front number 6 has settled over the Yucatán Peninsula, bringing frigid temperatures ranging from 5 to -5 degrees in 22 states. This weather system also promises heavy rains in various regions, including the Yucatán Peninsula, Oaxaca, Chiapas, Tabasco, Veracruz, Guerrero, and Michoacán.

In conclusion, Mexico is navigating a tumultuous period characterized by vaccine authorization struggles, diplomatic endeavors, security issues, justice being served, and the unpredictable nature of weather. It's a country where resilience and resourcefulness continue to shine through, even in the face of adversity. Stay tuned for further developments in these unfolding stories.