Patria Vaccine Begins Clinical Trials/ Teachers to Be VaccinatedBy Paloma Duran | Tue, 04/13/2021 - 11:17
Navy head doing well after positive COVID-19 test. President Andrés Manuel López Obrador announced that Minister of the Navy Rafael Ojeda Durán is doing well after he was infected for a second time with COVID-19. "He is already discharged and is at home recovering. Soon he will be reincorporated to his duties," López Obrador said.
Five states to start vaccinating educational personnel. Deputy Minister of Health Hugo López-Gatell announced that education staff in Taumalipas, Veracruz, Coahuila, Nayarit and Chiapas, which are under an epidemiological green light, will soon start receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. In addition, López-Gatell announced that he expects that 530,000 educational personnel will be vaccinated and return to school. “In general, it is all educational personnel, similar to what happens with the health personnel. Tamaulipas, Veracruz, Coahuila, Nayarit and Chiapas have low epidemic activity,” said López-Gatell. He added that the vaccination of vulnerable groups will continue. Those who are 50 years old and over will also soon become eligible to receive the vaccine.
Clinical trials begin for the Mexican COVID-19 vaccine. Director of the National Council for Science and Technology (CONACYT) María Elena Álvarez-Buylla reported on the development of the Mexican COVID-19 vaccine, Patria. Álvarez-Buylla highlighted the "very close coordination with the Ministry of Health and the work of Birmex in the production of the vaccine, which included top-level scientists, such those from Avimex." Álvarez-Buylla also announced the start of clinical trials with volunteer patients and said that between 90 and 100 healthy adults from Mexico City are being recruited. The results are expected to be ready in May. Álvarez-Buylla added that an emergency use authorization for the vaccine is expected to be obtained in November or December.
Patria vaccine will save money. Álvarez-Buylla said that the Mexican Agency for International Cooperation (AMEXID) of the Ministry of Foreign Relations has invested MX$15 million (US$745,665) and MX$135 million (US$6.71 million) through CONACYT to produce Patria. In addition, Álvarez-Buylla announced an alliance with the Avimex laboratory, which will produce the first batches of the vaccine to carry out clinical trials. "Of all vaccine development, only 10 to 20 percent make it to this stage, so this is great news, which the president asked us to share. There are still three phases of clinical trials, but we have a very strong foundation to believe this Mexican development can defend us from COVID-19.” It was also announced that the development of the vaccine will save up to 855 percent compared to what is currently spent on the purchase of foreign vaccines.
AMLO says he is not against INE president. López Obrador explained that he is not against the president of the National Electoral Institute (INE), Lorenzo Córdova, but said that he does not trust the institution. “It must be clarified that the mandate of the president of INE and one or two other councilors expires next year. We are not against the president who is about to end his term. However, the background of those who are now in INE is not good. I do not trust INE, but in the Mexican people. I hope things improve,” said López Obrador. He added that he will send a reform initiative to review the number of legislators and municipal governors. López Obrador will also propose changes in electoral matters to establish a "true democracy and trust in institutions.”
Initiative to reduce organism spending. López Obrador announced that after the electoral process for the June legislative elections is complete, he will send initiatives to Congress to save and end excessive spending and luxuries. "The legislative and judicial powers have made a great effort, but there are organisms that have not. There cannot be a rich government with poor people," López Obrador said.
AMLO calls on Salgado Macedonio to fight peacefully. López Obrador asked Félix Salgado Macedonio to fight peacefully after he was disqualified from running in the Guerrero elections and threatened to search the houses of INE councilors. "We must fight fraud in a peaceful manner. The right to defend democracy must be carried out within the framework of legality." He asked the court and the council act as true judges in favor of democracy. "We must also let the people decide," López Obrador said.
Macedonio was a federal deputy, municipal president of Acapulco, senator and recently, he aspired to be governor of Guerrero, despite facing accusations of sexual abuse, harassment and rape. However, INE canceled his candidature because he did not present a pre-campaign expense report, which is fundamental according to Mexican electoral law.
Children are the reason there are more troops on the border. López Obrador assured that children will be a priority in immigration policies, after the White House announced that Mexico and the US had agreed to deploy more troops on the border. "We are going to take care of the children, that was an instruction I gave this morning because undocumented traffickers are using children and it is a very serious violation of human rights," said López Obrador.
Click HERE for full transcript in Spanish