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By MARK LORENZANA

Children in Mexico between 5 and 11 years of age will soon get a covid-19 jab, Public Health Undersecretary Hugo López-Gatell announced on Tuesday,  June 14.

López-Gatell, in his weekly health report, announced during Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s (AMLO) morning press conference that the government has acquired 8 million doses of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine to inoculate the 5-to-11 age group.

“The vaccination policy, in essence, has remained very consistent with what we planned from the beginning,” López-Gatell said. “The seventh vaccination phase will be starting at this time, as planned,” he added.

One important difference about this seventh vaccination phase, according to López-Gatell, is that it will be done by municipality, while the previous six phases were done simultaneously throughout the country. For this reason, López-Gatell urged parents and guardians to closely monitor their local health centers for the vaccine’s availability. Mexico is currently in its sixth vaccination phase, inoculation of children ages 12 to 14.

Doses of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccines will arrive in Mexico on June 24, but registration for this age group will begin as early as Thursday, June 16.

López-Gatell encouraged parents and guardians to register their children at mivacuna.salud.gob.mx, as registration will help in the logistics of municipal operations.

The vaccination scheme, according to López-Gatell, includes two doses administered 21 days apart, although the second dose can be administered a month and a half after the first jab.

The Pfizer BioNTech vaccine — which is a messenger RNA (mRNA) type of vaccine — to be administered to the 5-to-11 age group will be a lower dose, according to López-Gatell.

Since March of this year, the Federal Commission for the Protection against Sanitary Risks (Cofepris), Mexico’s version of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), had already authorized the  Pfizer BioNTech vaccine for use on children between 5 and 11 years of age. However, the AMLO government was not able to procure the needed vaccines at that time.

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