Mexico City - Mexican health regulator COFEPRIS on Tuesday authorized Russia's Covid-19 vaccine, Sputnik V, for emergency use after the country entered into a contract to secure millions of vaccine doses.
In a morning news conference, Deputy Health Minister Hugo Lopez-Gatell said Mexico's contract provided for 7.4 million doses between February and April, with more due in May. "This gives us an enormous opportunity to accelerate vaccination in Mexico," he said.
Mexico began administering the Pfizer vaccine in December, but in the face of delayed deliveries and limited supplies from other manufacturers, the country is seeking to obtain as much vaccine supply as possible for its population of 126 million.
Latin American nations, including Argentina and Mexico, showed an early interest in locking down supplies of the Russian vaccine, but global interest in Sputnik V was bolstered on Tuesday after peer-reviewed results from its late-stage clinical trial were published in The Lancet international medical journal.
According to results published in The Lancet, data of 19,866 volunteers were included in the efficacy analysis. The study showed that the two-dose regimen of Sputnik V given at 21 days apart demonstrated the efficacy of 91.6% against Covid-19.
Sputnik V has been approved for storage in normal refrigerators, rather than freezers, according to scientists at the Gamaleya Institute in Moscow that developed it. This ease of transportation and distribution has appealed to Mexico, which has hard-to-reach rural areas and a struggling national health care system.
Regarding the online registration platform to access the COVID-19 vaccine, the Undersecretary of Prevention and Health Promotion mentioned that it will be available to all older adults. Those who live in areas without internet access will be contacted by the nation's servers.
He also said that 10,000 vaccination points have been identified throughout the country, which includes health facilities, public spaces and plazas, schools and recreation centers; The 'Roadrunner Brigades' will travel to hard-to-reach areas to deliver the vaccines.
Regarding people of other nationalities, he said that they are considered part of Mexico's national vaccination plan. Those who do not have a CURP will be identified with a state- or province-specific code to complete their registration.
"The national plan includes nationals, residents from abroad, those who were born abroad or who are temporarily in the country; But all, all of the people who are in Mexico, will be vaccinated against COVID-19," he assured.
Due to the diversity of vaccines that will be available in Mexico, each person will receive the vaccine that corresponds to their vaccination center. Lopez-Gatell stressed that the population can be sure that all the vaccines that are to be administered will meet the requirements of quality, safety and efficacy.
In this regard, the general director of Health Promotion, Ricardo Cortés Alcalá, announced that on the coronavirus.gob.mx website you can access the vaccination registry for older adults, as well as information on the various vaccinations against COVID.
Sources: Secretaría de Salud • pharmaceutical-technology.com • Reuters • AFP News