COVID-19 vaccinations begins/ New vaccine shipmentsBy Paloma Duran | Thu, 12/24/2020 - 11:13
Vaccinations against COVID begin. President López Obrador said that the vaccination campaign against COVID/19 will begin today with the application of 3,000 doses. “Today is a special date. It’s Christmas and we are announcing our entire vaccination plan. Moreover, we are guaranteeing the right to health by applying free and universal access to the vaccines,” López Obrador said. The president added that the government already has a specific budget that will be allocated for the purchase of vaccines.
Vaccines will arrive every Tuesday. Minister of Foreign Affairs Marcelo Ebrard announced that every Tuesday a new shipment of the Pfizer vaccine will arrive in Mexico, with the next shipment expected to total 53,625 doses. In addition, the first shipment in 2021 will total 1.4 million doses and by June the government expects to have 19 million doses. The number will continue to increase until Mexico has a total 34.4 million doses. Added President López Obrador: “Pfizer is complying with the agreement; therefore, it is expected the vaccines will be applied on time. Furthermore, the Pfizer vaccine is not the only vaccine that Mexico has access to. There are other contracts to purchase more doses.”
The first Mexican to be vaccinated.María Irene Ramírez, a specialist nurse at the Doctor Rubén Leñero Hospital in Mexico City, was the first Mexican to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Through a video call, the president contacted Deputy Minister of Health Hugo López-Gatell and Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum to demonstrate the first vaccination in the country. “The management of the pandemic is changing and now there is hope. The vaccine will reduce infections; however, Mexicans must continue to take care of themselves by keeping a healthy distance and using face masks,” López-Gatell said.
Mexico City, Queretaro and State of Mexico began vaccinations. These states are the first to start the application of the COVID-19 vaccine. Authorities from the Doctor Rubén Leñero Hospital in Mexico City, the 17 military zones in Queretaro and Santa María Rayón Military Hospital in the State of Mexico showed the vaccination of a health worker in each center. López Obrador said that approximately 950 doses will be applied in each of these centers, until there are no more left. Minister of Health Jorge Alcocer Varela said “there will be 10 vaccination modules to benefit 2,975 medical workers from the IMSS, ISSSTE, PEMEX, the Ministry of National Defense (SEDENA) and the Ministry of the Navy (SEMAR).” Varela said that there are 24 entities in the epidemiological orange light, three in red, two in green and three in yellow.
Mexicans accept and demand the vaccine.Varela said there are some Mexicans who fear the vaccine and its effects; however, the majority of the population is applauding the arrival of the vaccine and demands its application. "I feel that the majority of the Mexican population sees hope in this vaccine because it will decrease the number of contagions and deaths," Varela said. Moreover, Varela highlighted that scientific advances regarding COVID-19 have been achieved in record time. Among these are the development of more than 13 vaccine projects that are in Phase 3.
Mexican economy declines 9 percent. President López Obrador said that the Mexican economy contracted 9 percent according to the latest figures available, much better than the 12 percent experts had predicted. Furthermore, the GDP figures for the last quarter of the year are expected to reflect lower losses. “I think that in this last quarter we will do better. Experts are indicating that there will be growth in the economy, and that we can reduce our contraction from 9 (percent) to 8 (percent)," he said. The president explained that compared to other countries, Mexico has stronger financial stability, which has been achieved by implementing social assistance programs and not increasing the national debt.
Vaccine will reach the most marginalized areas of the country. President López Obrador assured that the vaccine will reach all parts of Mexico, no matter how difficult the access to some areas can be. "We will able to reach all the areas of Mexico with the support and help of the Ministry of National Defense and the Ministry of the Navy. We have plans that include the use of airplanes and helicopters to transport the vaccine and reach the most remote places,” he said.
Click HERE for full transcript in Spanish