COVID-19 Vaccine Authorized for Children Over 12 Years Old
Mexico Deputy Minister of Health Hugo López-Gatell announced that children between the ages of 12 and 17 can register for the COVID-19 vaccine starting on April 28, 2022. The move comes after the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was approved for children between five to 11 years old in emergency cases.
“Vaccines will not only be available for girls and boys who suffer from comorbidities but for all healthy children. Universal coverage will start from 12 years old,” added López-Gatell.
In Mexico, 61.3 percent of the population is already fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and 85.68 million have received the first dose. Expanding immunization will lessen the impacts of the virus, which is not expected to disappear. “SARS-CoV-2 will not disappear just like none of the other viruses that caused pandemics, such as influenza, have. But we have to transition from the epidemic state, in which we have to maintain measures that affect the wellness of the population, to a state where we can co-exist with the virus; this stage is called an endemic state,” said López-Gatell.
The World Health Organization has determined that a strong responsiveness, high vaccination coverage, low mortality numbers and few positive cases are the criteria to consider the end of the COVID-19 epidemic state within countries. Currently, Mexico has a hospital occupation of 2 percent and a vaccination coverage of 90 percent in people over 18 years old. The country registers four daily deaths from COVID-19 and about 292 positive cases per day. During the last 14 days, 4,034 people have presented symptoms linked to the disease, according to the Ministry of Health.
Due to the decrease of COVID-19 cases, Mexico’s government is discouraging the use of masks. In early April, Claudia Sheinbaum, Mexico City Governor, said that for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic Mexico’s capital has reached a zero-index epidemic risk. For this reason, Mexico City made mask use optional in open spaces but is still enforcing social distancing, as reported by MBN.
“In Mexico, just as in any other part of the world, the pandemic caused unfortunate consequences. It is not possible to be victorious or feel satisfied with the outcomes of a pandemic. What is important is having had a strong immediate response and having reduced the impact of an epidemic that was inevitable for the whole world,” said López-Gatell.
In the wake of the Vaccination Week in the Americas (VWA), global organizations are highlighting that SARS-CoV-2 is not the only disease from which the population must be protected. “As we continue to expand COVID-19 vaccine coverage, let us not forget the other diseases, for which effective protection exists,” said Carissa Etienne, Director, PAHO