Pfizer Will Slow Down Vaccine Distribution to MexicoBy Rodrigo Brugada | Thu, 07/08/2021 - 10:30
Pfizer will reduce the delivery volumes of its COVID-19 vaccine to Mexico for three weeks due to the reconversion of a plant in the US said in a press conference the Deputy Minister of Health, Hugo López-Gatell. Pfizer will have to readapt its laboratories to meet the high demand globally, which will affect many of its clients in several parts of the world, he added.
This is the second time that the delivery of Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines has been delayed. In January, deliveries were delayed for three weeks due to a similar reconversion in a plant in Belgium. López-Gatell pointed out that "Just as Pfizer did the reconversion many months ago in the Belgian plant, it is now being done in its plants in the US, particularly the main one from which we are supplied. (The reconversion) is important for it to expand its capacity; it is estimated that, once finished, the plant could reach four times its production capacity, according to some industrial arrangements. But it needs to stop the plant temporarily." As this temporary closure was announced beforehand, López-Gatell adds that it is accounted for in the vaccination plans.
López-Gatell highlighted that Mexico already has applied at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to 37 percent of its population over 18 years of age, so the program is progressing as planned. About 33 million vaccine doses against SARS-CoV-2 have been administered, of which almost 20 million represent complete vaccination schedules and the rest, approximately 13 million, are only the first dose. Due to this progress, the government began registering people over 18 years to schedule a vaccination date.
This Wednesday, only 232,830 vaccine doses arrived, he added. In comparison, in the last few weeks Mexico received two or three shipments per week, with 585,000 doses. Currently, Pfizer is the company that has sent the most doses to Mexico since December 23, when the first shipment arrived and was applied to health personnel.
Regarding the increase in the number of infections, Lopez-Gatell pointed out that in week 25 of the year, there was a 22 percent increase in COVID-19 cases compared to week 24. However, he clarified that hospitalizations and deaths are not growing at the same rate, which is a result of the progress of the vaccination.
"Even when there are these spikes, we have cases, but hospitalizations and deaths are not increasing at the same rate," he commented.