J&J Vaccine arrivals, donations to Latin AmericaBy Rodrigo Brugada | Wed, 06/16/2021 - 19:25
Mexico has administered about 38 million vaccines, applying at least one dose to one-fifth of its population and fully vaccinating about 12 percent, according to Our World in Data. The country has also received almost 48 million vaccines, including the 1.35 million single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccines and the 290,160 doses from Pfizer received yesterday.
Deputy Minister of Promotion and Health Prevention Hugo Lopez-Gatell stated that Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine would be applied in the states with a more active community spread, like Quintana Roo. But they will be used instead in the US-Mexico border, as stated in yesterday’s press conference by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.
Johnson & Johnson’s vaccines will be used to strengthen vaccination efforts in 39 municipalities in Baja California, Sonora, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo Leon and Tamaulipas to raise immunity in bordering towns to levels similar to those seen on the US side of the border. When this is achieved, activities in the region are expected to return to pre-pandemic conditions and both countries can advance towards a complete reopening of the border. The plan was discussed in detail by Mexico’s Foreign Affairs Minister Marcelo Ebrard and US National Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. In a regional modification to the National Vaccination Plan, those aged 18-40 will be able to register for a vaccine starting this week.
Mexico has also continued its vaccine diplomacy efforts, having sent 400,000 doses to a few Latin American countries last week. Of these, 150,000 doses went to Paraguay, 150,000 to Bolivia and 100,000 to Belize. Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador are next, stated Ebrard. As part of its vaccine diplomacy, Mexico has brought production of the AstraZeneca, CanSino and Sputnik vaccines to national soil. The former two are already part of Mexico’s supply chain, and the latter is scheduled to begin production later this month. Mexico is also developing the Patria vaccine, which is now undergoing phase I trials.
Last week, the Pfizer vaccine received an unanimous favorable opinion from COFEPRIS’ New Molecules Committee on its the use in those over 12 years old. This marks a first step towards the inclusion of teenagers in the National Vaccination Plan, as stated by Lopez-Gatell. Mexico also participated in Phase III trials of Novavax, which show an effectiveness of around 90 percent in the prevention of severe infections, as reported by Forbes. This vaccine has also proven to be effective against the Alpha (UK) and Beta (South Africa) variants, says CNBC.