Mexico approves AstraZeneca/Oxford coronavirus vaccine

MEXICO CITY (AFP) – Mexico on Monday authorised the coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford for emergency use in the country, which has one of the world’s highest COVID-19 death tolls.

Deputy Health Minister Hugo Lopez-Gatell announced on Twitter that Mexican regulators had approved the vaccine, which has also been authorised by Britain, India and Argentina.

Lopez-Gastell said the vaccine could be available in March. “It depends on the private entities that work on it to specify the production capacity,” he explained later during a routine afternoon conference.

It is the second coronavirus vaccine authorised by Mexico, which on December 24 began a mass immunisation programme using the Pfizer-BioNTech shot, with priority given to health workers.

Some 30,000 workers, about a quarter of what was planned in the first stage, had received the vaccine by Sunday, according to the government.

Mexico, which has reported more than 127,000 COVID-19 deaths and around 1.4 million cases, has an agreement with AstraZeneca to buy 77.4 million doses of its vaccine.