MEXICO CITY –
Mexican officials celebrated Wednesday when they announced that the country had finally developed its own COVID-19 vaccine, more than two years after vaccines from the US, Europe and China were released. launched.
The use of the vaccine, called “Patria” or “Motherland”, is unknown, which was developed in a joint effort between the government and a Mexican company, Avimex, which has previously worked on vaccines for animals object.
Vaccine consumption in Mexico declined rapidly in late 2022 and 2023, and Mexico still had millions of doses of the Abdala vaccine it bought from Cuba.
Maria Elena Alvarez-Buylla, head of the Mexican government’s science and technology committee, said the new vaccine would be approved for use as a booster shot. She did not say whether the government’s medical approval agency would officially authorize the Patria vaccine.
Dr. Fidel Alejandro Sanchez, member of the panel of researchers in charge of tracking virus variants in Mexico, said he doubts the use of a vaccine designed two years ago to boost protection. protection against strains currently circulating.
“It’s like reading yesterday’s newspaper,” Sanchez said. “It makes no sense to use it as a booster when it’s not designed for that purpose.”
Mexico began developing the Patria vaccine in March 2020. But the testing process was slow and the country had to import 225 million doses, mainly Astra-Zeneca and Pfizer, and some vaccines from China.
Mexico purchased 9 million doses of the Cuban-made Abdala vaccine in September 2022, although the vaccine is designed for coronavirus variants circulating in 2020 or 2021, not variants. Present. Very few Mexicans have come for the Cuban booster shots.
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has made a point of trying to make Mexico self-sufficient in many industries, while supporting Cuba in any way possible.
“This opens the door to restoring vaccine sovereignty,” said Alvarez-Buylla.
Mexico’s official death toll for test-confirmed COVID-19 deaths is close to 334,000, but testing was scarce in the early days of the pandemic and the government’s review of death certificates for saw more than 505,000 deaths from COVID-19 listed as a contributing cause of death.