Mexico City, Mexico — The undersecretary of health for Mexico says Mexico is likely to have an initial supply of COVID-19 vaccines before the end of this year. Hugo López-Gatell, Undersecretary of Health, made the announcement after a December 1 health conference.
He said that the vaccine corresponds to the one manufactured by Pfizer, an event he described as “good news”.
“It is possible that before the end of the year, we will have an initial endowment and with this, we can establish the start of vaccinations against COVID in Mexico. This is good news. We are making good progress on the issue of vaccines against COVID,” he said.
He explained that steps are being followed to expedite the arrival of the vaccine into Mexico. “We are preparing everything. By the time Pfizer International has FDA approval and is in a position to supply the vaccine, we can immediately use it,” he said.
“Of the first vaccines that arrive, hopefully they will arrive in December, it is likely that they will arrive in December, we would have a first allocation that we would use for the priority that is, for now, the first responders of the COVID operation. For obvious reasons, they are the ones we must protect because they in turn protect us. Using these capabilities of the Armed Forces we would be able to expeditiously vaccinate,” he explained.
The news from López-Gatell was made at the same time the UK announced British regulators have approved the COVID-19 vaccine developed by US company Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech.
According to the ministry of British Health, with the approval of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, the United Kingdom becomes the first country in the world to start vaccinating against coronavirus, which is set to begin next week.
In clinical trials, the vaccine has been shown to be 95 percent effective and with good results for all people, both young and old. “The Emergency Use Authorization in the U.K. will mark the first time citizens outside of the trials will have the opportunity to be immunized against COVID-19,” said Ugur Sahin, M.D., CEO and Co-founder of BioNTech.
In a statement, Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE announced that the Medicines & Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) in the U.K. has granted a temporary authorization for emergency use for their COVID-19 mRNA vaccine (BNT162b2), against COVID-19.
López-Gatell reported that the contract between Mexico and Pfizer is expected to be signed this week, so that the vaccine can be applied once it is approved by Cofepris (Comisión Federal para la Protección contra Riesgos Sanitarios).