Mexico Receives No Vaccines for Three WeeksBy Jorge Ramos Zwanziger | Mon, 02/08/2021 - 17:19
Mexico has not received any COVID-19 vaccines for about three weeks. The next batch of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccines will arrive on Feb. 15, said Hugo López-Gatell, Deputy Minister of Health, due to new decisions taken by the EU regarding vaccine distribution. “[The delay] is not Pfizer’s decision …New commercial regulations implemented by the EU limit Pfizer’s decisions. So we will not receive the anticipated batch on the 8th or 10th but until Feb. 15,” said López-Gatell, according to El Financiero. Last week, the EU faced global criticism over its new export rules, which affected vaccine exports, reported the Financial Times.
The delay concerns many as the first phase of Mexico’s vaccination plan is already behind schedule. The hold up has caused the Mexican Association of Pharmacovigilance (AMF) to push back the conclusion of the country’s first vaccination phase to May 2021, reported El Financiero. "Almost 800,000 doses should have been applied and that has not been the case. This leads us to estimate that Phase 1, instead of ending in February, will end in April or May of this year," warned Josué Bautista Arteaga, President of AMF.
It is not all bad news, Mexican authorities argued that estimated positive cases of COVID-19 have decreased by 33 percent, reveals Animal Político. So far, Mexico has received 766,350 doses from Pfizer’s vaccine. The last batch that included 219,375 doses arrived on Jan. 19, of which around 73 percent have been applied, reports El Economista.
Last Tuesday, COFEPRIS approved the emergency use of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine. López-Gatell highlighted that this approval would add “to Mexico’s vaccine repertoire,” reported El País. While some have expressed concerns regarding this vaccine’s safety, the medical journal The Lancet published Sputnik V’s interim analysis results that showed it was 91.6 percent effective against COVID-19. The vaccine also reported a 100 percent efficacy for severe COVID-19 cases. The report indicated that Sputnik V was well tolerated by participants, with only 43 of the 16,427 who received it reporting adverse events, which were reportedly unrelated to the vaccine. Mexican authorities negotiated to receive around 24 million Sputnik V vaccines in the following months and to have around 400,000 doses delivered in February to vaccinate around 200,000 people in Mexico, reported El País.