By THE PULSE NEWS MEXICO STAFF
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) announced Wednesday, Dec. 2, that the government will purchase an initial stock of 250,000 covid-19 vaccines from the multinational pharmaceutical giant Pfizer as soon as the vaccine is approved by the Federal Commission for the Protection against Sanitary Risks (Cofepris).
Speaking at his daily press conference at the National Palace, AMLO said his administration would be signing a formal contract with Pfizer later in the day.
He said that Mexico will initially receive 250,000 doses of the vaccine, which would be administered to health workers and other essential personnel.
“But we are still working out some details since two applications of the vaccine are required for each recipient,” the president said.
“So we have to see if we are purchasing 250,000 doses for 125,000 people, or 500,000 doses for 250,000 people.”
AMLO said the confusion would be resolved in “the next few days.”
Mexican Undersecretary of Health Hugo López-Gatell, who is the government’s point man for managing the covid-19 pandemic and who also spoke at the press conference, said that, in all likelihood, Mexico will begin to administer the Pfizer vaccine and possibly other covid vaccinations before the end of the year.
AMLO added that the Public Health Secretariat would announce its vaccination scheduling plan on Tuesday, Dec. 8.
Pfizer, together with its German partner BioNTech, was the first major pharmaceutical company to complete its clinical trials and request emergency approval for usage of tis covid vaccine from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), That approval is expected to be granted within days.
The Pfizer vaccine has already been granted emergency approval for use in the United Kingdom.
The U.S.-based Moderna corporation has also completed clinical studies for its own covid-19 vaccine and is awaiting approval from the FDA, and several other companies are in close pursuit.
Both the Pfizer and the Moderna vaccines use the same cutting-edge technology of messenger RNA that is injected into the body and tricks it into producing an immune response.
Both companies have reported 95 percent or higher immune response, with minimal side effects.
Pfizer has committed to manufacture 50 million doses of the vaccine this year, and 1.3 billion in 2021, using facilities in Missouri, Massachusetts, Michigan and Belgium.
Notwithstanding, distribution and administration of the vaccine pose serious logistic concerns since it must be kept at minus 94 degrees Fahrenheit.
Pfizer has developed a super-cool storage unit packed with dry ice, which it says will help transport the vaccine around the world, but Mexico will have to invest in special, ultra-cold freezers to store the vaccines.
…Dec, 3, 2020