Mexico and Argentina celebrated the first anniversary of the production of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, the first to be produced in Latin America, by unveiling a memorial plaque. The vaccine has been used in over 12 countries. Over 150 people from different units of COFEPRIS supported the manufacture of this vaccine.
“Today we celebrate a historical achievement that shows the extraordinary capacities of science and willpower. It also shows the commitment of all the collaborators that work in this sanitary agency. Today we celebrate that a year ago, COFEPRIS launched the first Latin American vaccine against the COVID-19 virus,” said Alejandro Svarch, Federal Commissioner, COFEPRIS.
This event proved that Latin America countries can face health challenges through collaboration, said Jorge Alcocer, Mexico’s Minister of Health. Countries of the region have the essential capabilities to expand local production and reduce inequalities in access to vaccines, he added. Countries must keep controlling the SARS-CoV-2 virus and prepare for future pandemics, said Alcocer.
“The COVID-19 pandemic showed us that we can work together for the health of our population,” said Manuel Linares, Head, ANMAT Salud, at the ceremony.
The Ambassador of Argentina in Mexico, Carlos Tomada, said that Mexico and Argentina were able to achieve this goal thanks to the 134-year-old strategic alliance. Argentina is Mexico’s sixth largest trade partner in Latin America and in 2021, trade between both countries amounted to US$1.86 billion, according to MBN.
As of today, 208.63 million vaccines have been administered in Mexico, including those of AstraZeneca, Pfizer and others. At least 81 million adults have received a dose of the vaccine. Argentina has vaccinated 82 percent of its population.
During the past week, Mexico registered an increase in COVID-19 cases, with 1,055 daily cases reported. To advance vaccination efforts and strengthen collaboration with other Latin American countries, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador announced the acquisition of Cuba’s Abdala vaccine to vaccinate children over five years old.
“Vaccines are under the spotlight as never before. Two years into the pandemic and a year after COVID-19 vaccines became available, around 64 percent of people in the Americas have been vaccinated against this devastating virus. Regrettably, however, many still remain unvaccinated. My message to you is that vaccines continue to be our best protection,” said Carissa Etienne, Director, PAHO.