This is how vaccination plan against Covid-19 is progressing in Mexico

20/02/2021

Mexico is looking for a way out of the economic and health crisis caused by the pandemic a year after its official arrival. The vaccine is in the spotlight. The government has agreed to purchase more than 234 million doses of five different prototypes: AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Sputnik V, Sinovac, and CanSino. The authorities have contacted at least a dozen other laboratories to diversify their options.

Shortages and supply problems earlier in the year have dampened optimism, but the start of mass vaccination of older adults has given it a new lease of life. On the verge of the most ambitious immunization campaign in its history, the country is moving slowly and lagging behind, facing the challenge of vaccinating 117 million people free of charge.

Doses applied

Mexico has administered at least one dose to a little more than one million inhabitants. Just over 622,600 healthcare workers have received the first vial from Pfizer, 14% of the total in the country. Also immunized have been 17,457 members of the education sector in Campeche and more than 318,000 senior citizens.

The government expects to vaccinate almost 15 million people over the age of 60 and all health personnel before the end of March. Mexico was one of the first countries in the world to have access to a vaccine against the coronavirus, but lagged behind after going a month without receiving any doses, between January and February of this year.

The United States leads the continental ranking, reserving all its production for the domestic market. Chile, with a population of almost 19 million inhabitants and agreements for 35 million doses, is the Latin American leader in vaccination and exceeded one million people immunized in February. Canada, Brazil, and Argentina have vaccinated more people per 100,000 inhabitants.

Colombia has taken longer than its neighbors to obtain the vials and has only started immunizing its population this Wednesday. Peru, which is currently experiencing a scandal over the secret vaccination of hundreds of influential people, received its first shipment on February 7 and has been at a slow pace since then. Bolivia has only begun giving health workers the 20,000 doses of Sputnik V that landed in the country on January 28. Only nine Latin American countries have had access to vaccines.

Purchased vs. received

The purchase agreements have been closed, but the doses will be arriving irregularly, following the same uncertain route as in almost every country in the world.

The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine arrived last December 23 and was the first to be administered against covid-19 in Mexico. There is an agreement for 34.4 million doses, but only a little more than 2.1 million doses have been received. The drug developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca was the second to be applied, with the first delivery of 870,000 doses that landed on February 14. These vials arrived from India, as part of a contract for just over two million doses with the Serum Institute. Since August, another agreement was signed with Argentina and the Carlos Slim Foundation to distribute between 150 and 250 million doses for Latin America, 77.4 million for Mexico alone.

The next vaccines in the pipeline are Sputnik V, with an agreement for 24 million doses, and CanSino, with whom there is a contract for 35 million. The arrival of the drug developed by the Gamaleya Institute has been delayed due to negotiations with Russia. CanSino is expected to package two million doses that arrived in bulk for distribution in February. It is also estimated that the first 200,000 doses of Sinovac, with whom there is an agreement for 10 million, will arrive at the end of the month.

All of them have proven their efficacy not only in reducing the probability of developing significant symptoms, but also, and perhaps above all, in minimizing to almost zero the risk of death. In this dimension, the effect of the various vials is notably more even than in the measurement of any type of symptoms.

Mexico is expecting millions of doses from an unprecedented scientific effort, but in the meantime the virus mutations that improve its contagious potency have already begun to circulate, drawing on the horizon of the country, the continent, and the whole world a race against time to build the first effective wall against the virus.

Source El Pais