By KELIN DILLON
The Washington Post reported on Thursday, March 18, that the United States will send part of its excess supply of covid-19 vaccines to Mexico, which was then confirmed by Mexico’s Foreign Relations Secretary Marcelo Ebrard and the U.S. White House.
“There is a vaccine agreement with the United States, to follow up on the conversation between Presidents López Obrador and Biden,” said Ebrard. “Yes, the information is correct. Tomorrow, I will give the details because we are still working on it. Good news!”
While neither government has revealed further details yet, Reuters reported that the United States would be sending 2.5 million doses of AstraZeneca to Mexico, and a further 1.5 million of the same company’s vaccine to Canada on loan, with both countries expected to pay back with doses in return, when they can.
“We only put the virus behind us if we’re helping our global partners,” an anonymous U.S. government official told Reuters.
AstraZeneca notably is not yet approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in the United States, leaving little internal ¿use for the country’s current stockpile, though it has importantly reached approval in Mexico and will be ready for administration to the population upon its arrival.
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) had previously pushed the Biden administration to help Mexico with its vaccination process, though he was met with resistance, with the United States citing the need to vaccinate its own population first, until now.
The news of the vaccine loan could not come at a better time, following the report of over 195,908 covid-related deaths in the nation, a figure almost 136,000 deaths higher than Undersecretary of Prevention and Promotion of Health Hugo López-Gatell Ramírez estimated at the start of the pandemic.
…March 19, 2021