After Years of Delay, Mexico Launches Proprietary Covid Vaccine

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More than three years after Mexico announced the development of its own proprietary vaccine against covid-19 back in April 2020, María Elena Álvarez-Buylla, director of Mexico’s National Council of Science and Technology (Conacyt), announced the completion of the Patria vaccine, made in collaboration with Avimex laboratories, during Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s (AMLO) daily press conference on the morning of Wednesday, May 3. 

Continued delays in Patria’s development, which was supposedly once on track for completion by the end of 2021, previously prompted Mexico to import tens of millions of units of international vaccines like Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca, and Sputnik V – to expedite the inoculation of its population during the beginning of the pandemic.

However, millions of the imported vaccines were reportedly never used; a total of 5 million AstraZeneca and Sputnik V vaccines were controversially left to waste away in warehouses in the State of México (Edoméx), where all 5 million units purportedly expired mid-2022.

According to Álvarez-Buylla, the newly completed Patria vaccine has been proven as an effective booster against covid-19 and likewise meets the international standards established by the World Health Organization (WHO) for covid-19 vaccines.

“We take this opportunity to give you excellent news: we have finished development of Patria. We already have the Patria vaccine approved as a booster with successful data from the final testing phase, meeting the criteria established by the WHO for booster covid-19 vaccines, but also already having this vaccine developed opens the way for Mexico to recover vaccine sovereignty, which is so important for disease prevention,” said Álvarez-Buylla at the time.

“This is possible thanks to the combination of public capacities from various universities, public entities such as the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS) and the Federal Commission for the Protection Against Sanitary Risk (Cofepris), but also in alliance with an honest Mexican company that specialized in vaccines for the animal sector and has now dedicated a significant investment to the production of human vaccines for the people of our country,” added the Conacyt director.

Now, with Patria officially completed and nearly ready to hit the Mexican market, Álvarez-Buylla has touted that the Mexican vaccine’s low production cost and collaboration between public and private institutions will allow for a much larger rollout of booster vaccines to the population, letting Mexico “be able to do much more with a lower budget.”

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