By KELIN DILLON
As Mexico’s vaccination efforts against covid-19 try their best to move forward, yet another roadblock has presented itself, this time in the form of a proverbial drought in doses.
While last week, Mexico received over 5 million doses of vaccines from brands AstraZeneca and Pfizer, this week the number dwindled to less than half of that, with only 1.78 million doses expected to arrive from the same brands, which each require two doses per person.
In fact, the country’s contract with Pfizer, largely touted as one of the most effective vaccines worldwide, is close to running out. As other contracted providers like CanSino and Sputnik V have not shipped any doses to Mexico in more than two weeks, the situation is beginning to look dire for those still seeking full inoculation, whether having not yet received their first shot or still waiting on the second.
Since the second week of August, Mexico has not applied more than a million vaccines in one single day, with many between the ages of 18 and 39 only partially inoculated against covid-19.
On the morning of Wednesday, Sept. 8, Secretary of Foreign Affairs Marcelo Ebrard said that the federal government expected to receive 120 million doses in total by the end of October, and urged the population to have patience with the planned timeline.
For his part on the subject of vaccinations, Deputy Secretary of Health Hugo López-Gatell caught major flack that same Wednesday morning for publicly saying vaccinating Mexico’s minor population against coronavirus “whose risk is considerably lower” would “take the opportunity away from an older person who has a greater risk of contracting the disease.”
Despite the health official’s words, Mexico’s children have been contracting covid-19 at a record rate, especially after the reopening of public schools, prompting much controversy over López-Gatell’s statement, to the point of National Action Party (PAN) Senator Xóchilt Gálvez calling him an obscenity at a public parliamentary group press conference.