Image credits: Markus Winkler on Unsplash
/
Weekly Roundups

Mexico Calls Out Vaccine Monopoly

By Miriam Bello | Thu, 02/18/2021 - 16:14

Mexico has applied 1 million COVID-19 vaccine doses so far. The numbers can be broken down as follows:

  • Health workers: 622,658 have received their first doses and 99,666 their second doses.
  • Seniors: 318,358 have received their first doses.
  • Educational staff (from Campeche): 17,457 people have received their first doses.

What is next on the vaccination agenda and what advances have been made to secure more doses? Find out in the Week in Health!

NATIONAL

-Mexico’s vaccination campaign for senior citizens began this week. It was with the AstraZeneca vaccine that the government kicked off the campaign in 330 of the poorest municipalities of the country, according to President López Obrador. Deputy Minister of Health Hugo López-Gatell said that he expects urban areas of the country to begin the third phase of vaccination around Mar. 2. This phase considers people over 60 years of age.

-COFEPRIS has a new commissioner. Alejandro Svarch was appointed by the President to replace Novelo Baeza. Svarch is known in the industry due to his constant appearances on the COVID-19 daily press conferences. An UNAM surgeon, he has vast experience working on public health matters related to global health. He was among the doctors in charge of the President when he suffered from COVID-19.

-During a UN Security Council meeting, Minister of Foreign Affairs Marcelo Ebrard accused countries of hoarding COVID-19 vaccines. He asked the UN to “revert this injustice” as this is a human safety concern. Ebrard also urged COVAX to begin vaccine distribution, as the mechanism has so far been “insufficient.”

-This weekend, Mexico expects to receive the first doses of the Sputnik vaccine to inoculate 12 million citizens. The first cargo is to arrive on Saturday with 200,000 doses.

-Entrepreneurship has not stopped despite the pandemic. MBN reported on the development of Oxígeno, a platform that provides users with updated information on the availability of oxygen tanks in Mexico City and Monterrey. This was a response to scarcity, which caused a crisis among families in need to treat COVID-19 at home.

-Merck MSD carried out a study on the novel Value-Based Healthcare model. Diego Guarin, the company’s Regional Market Access Lead for Latin America, presented the results.

INTERNATIONAL

-Guinea has reported a new Ebola epidemic after the country registered three deaths caused by this virus. Four other people have contracted Ebola. Guinea informed WHO about its plans for vaccine acquisition.

-The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine has reduced symptomatic cases by 94 percent in Israel, where so far, 27 percent of the population have received both doses of the vaccine. Data indicates that the vaccine is working in a large population as well as it did in clinical trials.

-The US has donated US$2 million to COVAX through WHO. According to representatives of the US, these action responds to the country’s financial commitments to the organization and “reflect our commitment with WHO to support them on leading a response to the pandemic.”

-Europe has paused AstraZeneca vaccination as many countries have reported secondary effects among health workers, which has slowed down and further stressed hospital attention. France, Germany and Sweden are among the countries controlling the doses.

Miriam Bello Miriam Bello Journalist and Industry Analyst