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US$1.64 Bln to Secure 146.8 Mln Vaccine Doses

By Ricardo Guzman | Tue, 10/13/2020 - 10:59

146.8 million vaccine doses secured. The government of Mexico signed agreements with AstraZeneca, Pfizer and CanSino Biologics for the delivery of up to 146.8 million vaccine doses against COVID-19 when they are developed, Minister of Foreign Affairs (SRE) Marcelo Ebrard said. The agreement with AstraZeneca is for 77.4 million doses of the vaccine being developed in collaboration with the University of Oxford and its delivery would be effective between March and August 2021. Ebrard said the government had already provided an advance payment and that the remaining funds would be paid once the delivery is completed. Ebrard also highlighted an agreement with Pfizer for up to 34.4 million injections to be distributed between December 2020 and December 2021, while CanSino agreed to provide 35 million doses. “As of today, Mexico is in the same situation as the United States, the European Union and several countries. We have secured the necessary quotas,” he said. Minister of Health Jorge Alcocer explained that the first doses of the vaccine will go to vulnerable groups and health workers.

US$1.64 billion agreement. Mexico signed a collaboration agreement worth MX$35.1 billion (US$1.64 billion) with pharmaceutical companies to provide all the necessary doses to vaccinate over 116 million Mexicans against COVID-19, Minister of Finance (SHCP) Arturo Herrera said. He detailed that 51 million doses will be from the Covax program with the rest coming directly from laboratories. “The total value of the purchase of these vaccines is US$1.64 billion,” he noted. Herrera said that a first advance payment was completed last week and that other payments would be made in the coming weeks. “Before the end of this year, advanced payments will total US$321.21 million,” Herrera said.

Mexico could produce and keep 700 million vaccine doses. AstraZeneca Mexico head Sylvia Varela said that over 700 million doses of the vaccine developed in Mexico will likely be kept here. “The company has committed to providing this potential vaccine without any profit while the pandemic lasts. If the clinical development program is successful, today's agreement makes it possible for more than 700 million doses to be produced by Mexicans to stay in Mexico,” she said. On a remote video call, CanSino CEO Yu Xuefeng highlighted the highly promising results of the vaccine developed in China. “Mexico is a few weeks away from receiving the first vaccine doses; results are highly promising. We are doing Phase 3 trails to demonstrate its efficacy,” Xuefeng said.

AMLO alleges plot in pharma sector. President López Obrador said that drug companies are trying to block the Mexican government's purchase of drugs to treat cancer. While answering questions regarding the ongoing investigation into the theft of almost 38,000 doses of drugs reported by COFEPRIS, the president said he could not provide details on how his administration would secure drug supplies. “I can’t give any details now. There are signs that they are blocking us from getting medicines, not only in Mexico but abroad. The same companies here make agreements with foreign companies, and they intervene so we can’t fulfill our commitments,” he said.

Alfonso Durazo is free to run in election. President López Obrador said Minister of Security (SSPC) Alfonso Durazo is a free man who will eventually decide on whether to participate in the 2021 midterm elections. “He is very efficient and helps a lot to coordinate the security cabinet. He is dedicated to that and still needs to decide,” he said. Last week, another close aid to the president, Ana Guevara, announced she will contend for the governorship of Sonora on the Labor Party (PT) ticket.

Payments to García Luna-linked company. Million-dollar payments were sent to a company linked to Genaro García Luna at the end of former President Felipe Calderón's administration, President López Obrador said. “It was a contract worth US$19 million to train officials and we still owe almost US$6 million,” he said. The president noted that the course lasted 90 minutes and was given to only three people. Calderón’s administration top cop Garcia Luna is on trial in the US for alleged links to drug cartels.

 

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Click HERE for full transcript in Spanish

Ricardo Guzman Ricardo Guzman Editor

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