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Mexico Begins Applying COVID-19 Vaccine Boosters to Seniors

By Alfonso Núñez | Wed, 12/08/2021 - 15:14

A third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine started to be administered in Mexico City, Jalisco, Chiapas, Oaxaca, Sinaloa and Yucatan yesterday. Mexico’s president and other governmental officials received a booster of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

 

Deputy Minister of Health Hugo López-Gatell announced that in those states individuals over the age of 60 will be eligible to receive a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. The administration began yesterday for residents of Mexico City in the borough of Tlalpan for residents whose last name begin with the letter “A” and continued today with letters “B” and “C.” Thursday, December 9 was assigned for “D” through “G”, with “H” through “M” the following day, “N” through “R” after that and “S” through “Z” closing out the list on Sunday, December 12.

 

An AstraZeneca booster shot will be offered regardless of which brand was used during the original vaccination scheme. The move comes weeks after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) not only approved but recommended additional “booster” vaccinations be administered for the general US public. Mixing vaccine brands from the original doses is not frowned upon by general health experts, with one exception.

 

“In general, boosters do improve the immune system, no matter what booster you get… except for Johnson & Johnson (as the original vaccination). In that case, you want the booster to be mRNA,” said Kawsar Talaat, International Health Assistant Professor, Johns Hopkins University. Health experts suggest that those who received the Johnson & Johnson and the AstraZeneca vaccines receive booster shots from Pfizer or Moderna, based in the higher antibody levels that were seen in clinical trials. Mixing any type of vaccines is considered completely safe.

 

The vaccine will be offered to Mexico’s senior citizens above 60 years of age who received their original doses more than six months ago. Patients will not have to register on a vaccination portal, they only have to show an official ID proving their age. They will receive proof of vaccination upon receiving their additional dose. Booster shots will next be offered to the country’s educators once the senior citizens campaign has concluded.

 

Following the announcement, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador received the vaccine alongside Minister of Health Jorge Alcocer, Minister of Safety Rosa Icela Rodriguez and Jose Rafael Ojeda Duran. Eduardo Clark, General Director, Digital Government of Mexico City, asked places of employment and education to be as accommodating as possible in order for the campaign to be successful.

 

Previously, various reports pointed that Mexicans visited the US to receive a booster jab. These instances might continue as Lopez-Gatell announced no current plans for the distribution of booster vaccines for the general population. Mexico currently has given at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine to over 86 percent of its population over 18.

Photo by:   Unsplash, CDC
Alfonso Núñez Alfonso Núñez Journalist & Industry Analyst