More Vaccines to Arrive in Mexico/Patria Vaccine Trials
Fourth wave of COVID-19 is slowing down. Deputy Minister of Health Hugo López-Gatell reported that the fourth wave of COVID-19 in Mexico is slowing down. “We are going to discuss good news. Two weeks ago, we were talking about entering a stabilization phase of the pandemic. Last week, we had a very substantial reduction in cases and this week we have a further reduction. We can see that there is consistency in all the parameters, which indicates that the fourth wave is slowing down. This trajectory is most likely to continue."
Although the government is optimistic that the worst of the fourth wave is over, specialists say there is no statistical evidence to support that notion since the number of tests has decreased in recent weeks, while cases have increased exponentially. According to government data, 9,242 new infections were registered yesterday, bringing the total number of infections to 5,160,767. Meanwhile, there were 206 deaths, bringing the death toll to 309,752. In addition, last week, the country recorded the highest number of daily deaths during the fourth wave, at 829. As a result, specialists say that the government should not relax health measures.
Millions of vaccines will arrive in Mexico in February. López-Gatell announced that the country will receive 18 million COVID-19 vaccines doses this month thanks to the UN COVAX mechanism. López-Gatell stressed that with the arrival of these vaccines, the country's dose coverage will be guaranteed for 2022. “With the COVAX mechanism, 18 million booster doses will arrive. COVAX still owes us more doses since we paid for 20 million doses in advance. With these shipments, we will cover practically the entirety of this year.”
Currently, the country’s vaccination campaign continues to develop favorably, with 83.7 million individuals receiving at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine (66 percent of the country’s population) and 77.318 million having received both doses (60 percent of the country’s population). These numbers account for 89 percent of Mexico’s adult population. In addition, the government announced that on Feb. 14, it will begin administering the booster vaccine to people between the ages of 30 and 39.
López-Gatell: The trials for the Patria vaccine are going very well. López-Gatell reported that phase II of the clinical trials of the Patria vaccine are going very well. In addition, he thanked CONACYT Director María Elena Álvarez-Buylla for her work in the development of the Mexican vaccine. “The clinical trials are going very well. This part is very important to achieve the identification of the capabilities of the vaccine. We thank Dr. María Elena Álvarez-Buylla for the excellent work she has done with the public and private sectors in the development of this vaccine.”
López-Gatell recently announced that registration to receive the Patria vaccine is open for any adult who wants to volunteer in the trials. The phase II clinical trials will determine if the vaccine can be used as a booster for people who already have two doses. According to authorities, phase II is expected to last less than a year, while the last phase is expected to be completed in 2023. Mexican authorities have been criticized for delays with the vaccine. The authorities had promised the vaccine would be ready in 2021 but it will now take another two years.
Meeting with John Kerry. President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said that his meeting with John Kerry, the US presidential special envoy for climate, will be very good because there are many issues to discuss. In addition, López-Obrador stressed that Mexico has good relations with the US, for which important cooperation agreements will be made. “Mexico is an independent, sovereign country. The US government has been respectful of our sovereignty, so we have a very good relationship them. With Mr. Kerry, there is also a very good relationship, so the next meeting will be very good.”
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported that Kerry will meet with López Obrador on Feb. 9 at the National Palace to discuss efforts to combat climate change and potentially reach agreement on certain areas. Among the topics that will be discussed are renewable energies, the reduction and control of methane emissions, and the implementation of the "Sowing Life" program, which seeks to address the main causes of migration in Central America.
Click HERE for full transcript in Spanish