Mexico ensures vaccine for more than 100 million Mexicans

Mexico formalized vaccine pre-purchase with AstraZeneca, CanSino Biologics and Pfizer to cover more than 100 million Mexicans. — courtesy photo
Mexico formalized vaccine pre-purchase with AstraZeneca, CanSino Biologics and Pfizer to cover more than 100 million Mexicans. — courtesy photo

MEXICO CITY — President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, in the company of Secretary of Foreign Relations Marcelo Ebrard Casaubon, reported on the progress in Mexico's strategy to guarantee universal access and fair prices to the vaccine against COVID-19 at a press conference here.

This week, the government of Mexico signed three pre- purchase contracts with the pharmaceutical companies AstraZeneca, CanSino Biologics and Pfizer to acquire sufficient doses of vaccines to cover, together with those acquired in the COVAX mechanism, up to 116 million Mexicans.

Casaubon reported that the three pre-purchase agreements signed with the pharmaceutical companies could cover a range of between 81.4 and 90.9 million people. These agreements meet the search criteria for low-risk section mechanisms and protect Mexico from price increases due to excess demand.

In addition, they diversify the portfolio to which our country has access, including both vaccines based on inactivated viruses and viral vectors, as well as more modern and flexible technologies.

During the conference, the secretary presented details of each of the agreements. Both the AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines must be given in two doses. The agreement signed with AstraZeneca is for 77.4 million doses that would be available between March and August 2021.

In the case of Pfizer, the agreement is for a range of between 15.5 and 34.4 million doses, depending on what the health sector agrees. The vaccines from that pharmaceutical company would arrive in Mexico between December 2020 and December 2021.

For its part, it was agreed that the CanSino Biologics vaccine, which is administered in a single dose, will have a supply flow of 35 million doses between December 2020 and September 2021.

These pre-purchase agreements are in addition to the advance recently paid to the mechanism international COVAX to guarantee access to 51.5 million doses that would cover 25 million Mexicans.

In this sense, the Foreign Minister affirmed that “we should be proud that Mexico has contributed, in the voice of its president, so that today we have a multilateral mechanism, COVAX, in which more than 100 countries participate and that it will allow us, both to Mexico as to the other countries, access up to 20% of the vaccines of our population”.

He recalled that the portfolio of this mechanism already has 18 vaccines to which our country will have access.

Casaubon stressed: "of all the activities in which I have had to participate in my public life, this is the one I am most proud of, and of my country and my president."

He also reported that among the vaccines that are part of the portfolio are the developments of AstraZeneca, BioPharma, CureVac, Inovio, Merck, Moderna, the universities of Hong Kong, Queensland and Oxford; in addition, the candidates from China, South Korea, the United States and the United Kingdom have been added.

In adherence to the instructions of the president to guarantee universal coverage of our population, with the addition of the COVAX mechanism, plus the agreements mentioned above, “the availability of sufficient doses to vaccinate more than 100 million Mexican women is guaranteed.

“Mexicans, putting Mexico in the same condition as the most advanced countries in this process, such as the United States and the European Union,” said the Foreign Minister.

In addition, as a result of this strategy developed by the Presidency of the Republic and executed by the Ministry of Health and the Foreign Ministry, Mexico will carry out several phases 3 of clinical trials of various developments, among which are: Janssen, from the United States; Sputnik V, from Russia; CanSino Biologics, from China; Novavax, from the United States; Curevac, from Germany; Sanofi-Pasteur, from France; and ReiThera, from Italy. — SG