COVID-19 Vaccination Efforts Continue Among Mexico’s YouthBy Alfonso Núñez | Mon, 10/25/2021 - 16:47
Today, Mexico City began administering COVID-19 vaccines for those of ages 12 to 17 with preexisting conditions as the country’s vaccination campaign widens to include minors. Vaccination of will continue until Thursday, October 28.
Vaccines will be administered in the José Vasconcelos library located in Cuauhtemoc and the Center of Superior Science Studies and Health (CENCIS-Marina) in Coyoacan to Mexican minors suffering from one of 40 preexisting conditions listed by Mexico’s National Vaccination Plan, such as chronic heart conditions, neurological diseases and teenage pregnancy.
Vaccination of minors will overlap with the distribution of Sputnik’s second dose for those aged 18 to 29 but children will only receive the Pfizer vaccine, following a global panic when possible side effects of the Moderna vaccine were observed in Swedish minors, consisting of a suspected increase in myocarditis and pericarditis. Last week, US FDA officials said the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine verified a 91 percent effective rate at preventing symptomatic infection in children, as the country seems to move towards administering COVID-19 vaccinations to youth aged five to 11.
Meanwhile, Moderna Inc earlier today said a trial of over 4,000 participants found a positive response in children aged six to 11 to their vaccine. This data will be submitted to regulators and could result in the re-administration of Modena’s vaccine for minors in the US and the EU. Mexico could follow suit as the country begins to play catch-up with its youth vaccination efforts. During August, Mexico saw a peak in COVID-19 deaths amongst minors, reaching 113 registered cases during the third wave of infections and fatalities for the age group. These tragic numbers, mixed with an enormous social pressure after a federal judge ruled that authorities had to begin vaccinating minors regardless of health status, caused the national vaccination campaign to open up to those under the age of 18 with preexisting conditions. Plans for the vaccination of those in that age group without these conditions remain undisclosed.
Political reactions to this federal decision have been mixed, with ex-president Vicente Fox criticizing current president López Obrador by comparing the country with its southern-neighbor Guatemala where COVID-19 vaccines are already being distributed to minors regardless of health conditions. Meanwhile, senators from Fox’s political party PAN criticized the government for administering a first dosage of the vaccine to minors before a larger percentage of adults in the country have received both, the argument Deputy Minister of Prevention and Health Promotion Hugo López-Gatell gave last month for not yet administering vaccines to Mexico’s teenagers.
Now, an estimated 750,000 to a 1.5 million minors will receive their first shot of the Pfizer vaccine throughout the week. Further vaccination plans for the country’s youth await.