Mexico Reconsiders Booster Shots
President Andrés Manuel López Obrador announced today that the government is beginning to consider the possibility of making “booster shots” of the COVID-19 vaccine available to the country’s senior population.
“Vaccine boosters will be administered in some cases, specially for older adults, but that still has to be decided by the doctors, the specialists,” said the president during his daily press briefing La Mañanera. Two months ago, he had deemed booster vaccination doses unnecessary but his latest statement opens the door for additional doses for the vaccinated population.
The announcement comes during the same week the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) amended an emergency use authorization (EUA) to allow the administration of additional doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in the country. Booster shots were approved to be given to fully vaccinated patients six months after their second dosage with priority given to individuals over 65 years of age, those between 18 and 64 years of age with a high risk of severe COVID-19 and essential workers whose employment puts them at increased risk for contracting the virus.
The US has been administering booster vaccines since September this year, for which an estimated 85 percent of adults in the country qualify for a booster shot following CDC guidelines. This group includes individuals with health factors such as obesity and depression and individuals employed in the education and health sectors, amongst others.
Last Saturday, booster shots’ availability was expanded to all US adults to increase the country’s preparation for the Delta variant of the virus. Meanwhile, the European Commission proposed a nine-month limit validity for approved travel into the continent starting on Jan. 10, 2022.
Meanwhile, the Deputy Minister of Prevention and Health Promotion Hugo López-Gatell announced that 76 million Mexicans, about 85 percent of the country’s adults, have been vaccinated against COVID-19. López-Gatell said that although more than 131 million vaccines have been administered, the country’s vaccination campaign is currently developing slowly as the country is receiving vaccines. During the rest of November and December, Mexico will receive significant amounts of Pfizer vaccines that will be applied mainly to those 15 to 17 years old.
López-Gatell also mentioned that the country saw a 17 percent reduction in cases during the past week, even though Minister of Health Jorge Alcocer Varela earlier this week announced early signs of a fourth wave of infections. Additionally, doctors have identified another variant of coronavirus in South Africa, called B.1.1.529 until the WHO assigns a Greek letter to it, which poses a great potential danger as it carries an unusually large number of mutations. There have been nearly 100 cases linked to this last variant and it is expected to cause a new wave of infections in South Africa and possibly the world, as the Delta variant before it.