COVID-19 Vaccination in MexicoBy Jorge Ramos Zwanziger | Tue, 12/15/2020 - 09:15
The world has produced many COVID-19 vaccines in less than a year and results are everywhere. Pfizer’s vaccine, one of the first to be produced, was recently approved by Mexico’s COFEPRIS. Mexico is the fourth country to approve the vaccine, after the UK, Bahrein and Canada. In the Dec. 11 session, the 24 members of COFEPRIS unanimously approved its emergency use to combat SARS-CoV-2. This is another step in the Mexican government’s plan, which MBN previously covered, to start vaccinating citizens. Marcelo Ebrard, Minister of Foreign Relations, had previously informed that once the vaccine was approved it would take around five days for it to arrive in Mexico, reported Expansión Política. The first entities where it will arrive are Coahuila and Mexico City. Expansión reports the states will get 125,000 vaccines doses each.
Vaccines will soon arrive in Mexico, raising the question: can people choose the vaccine they get? To date, Mexico has three pre-purchase agreements with CanSino Biologics, Pfizer and AstraZeneca. The country will receive 35 million doses of CanSino’s single-dose vaccine, 35.5 million doses of Pfizer’s development and 77.4 million doses of AstraZeneca’s, the last two being two-shot vaccines, reported MBN. Last week, Deputy Minister of Health, Hugo López-Gatell was asked if Mexicans could have a choice as to which vaccines they could receive. El Economista reports that he did not answer this question. However, he said that “the good news is that they all have very similar behaviors and have, according to all available information, proven to be safe. The three of them have proven to be highly effective. We can say, for practical purposes, that they are equivalent.”
The speed rate at which vaccines have been released has generated some distrust regarding their effectiveness. “We have to convince and persuade people and talk to them about this. […] We would be much better off presenting people with the benefits [of vaccination] and let them decide on their own,” Michael Ryan, Emergency Director at WHO, said during a biweekly conference. He added that “the only right decision is to get vaccinated.” Last week, López-Gatell informed that vaccination in Mexico will not be mandatory. “This debate is solved by respecting individual liberties. As important as prevention is, the implementation of a tool such as a vaccine cannot be imposed on individual freedom,” reported Excelsior.