Photo: Presidencia

By KELIN DILLON

Mexico’s National Council for Science and Technology (Conacyt) has announced the nation’s own vaccine, called Patria (or “fatherland), is estimated to be ready by the end of 2021 for administration throughout the country, following the beginning of volunteer-based human trials this month.

If the vaccine is deemed successful, it has the opportunity to save Mexico more than 800 percent of costs relating to importing vaccines purchased from other countries.

Conacyt’s director Maria Elena Alvarez-Buylla announced on Tuesday, April 13, that the vaccine was made in joint development between the Secretariat of Health, national universities, top-level scientists, health institutes and the Mexican Institute of Social Security (IMSS).

According to Alvarez-Buylla, in trials on mice and pigs, which have similar immune systems to human beings, Patria successfully produced antibodies against covid-19.

Now, with the recruitment of human volunteers for the beginning of Phase 1 clinical trials, Alvarez-Buylla says “they will be injected with vaccine development in the next few days and we hope to have results by the end of May.”

The news coincides with the Secretariat of Health’s announcement that Mexico’s inoculation plan would be expanding to its next phase of vaccination for adults aged 50 to 59 in the final week of April, after the several-month process of vaccinating the country’s elderly population. 

Undersecretary of Public Health Hugo López-Gatell also announced the nation would be vaccinating its public school teachers from the states ready to resume in-person education, including Tamaulipas, Veracruz, Coahuila, Nayarit and Chiapas, likewise at the end of April. 

As Mexico’s vaccine strategy finally seems to move forward, the United States has received a setback after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Center for Disease Control (CDC) announced it would be indefinitely suspending the use of one-shot vaccine Johnson & Johnson in the country, after six people given the dose developed a rare blood-clot disorder afterwards.

…April 14, 2021

 

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