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AstraZeneca shipment is a shot in the arm for Yucatán vaccination efforts

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Lee Steele
Lee Steele
Lee Steele is the founding director of Roof Cat Media and has published Yucatán Magazine and other titles since 2012. Sign up for our weekly newsletters, so our top headlines will appear in your inbox each Monday and Thursday.
Mexican military planes deliver 97,000 AstraZeneca vaccine doses in Yucatán on Monday. Photo: Courtesy

With a fresh supply of coronavirus vaccines, Yucatán resumed its campaign to control the pandemic.

A day after another 97,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine arrived Monday, first doses were given to 18- to 29-year-olds in Dzidzantun, Teabo, Tixcacalcupul, Abalá, Timucuy, Opichen and Panabá. Today first doses for the same age group will be offered in Cacalchén, Temax, Hocabá, Hoctún, Tixméhuac, Dzan, Maní, Tahdziú, Chankom and Samahil.

The campaign continues Thursday in Huhi, Cuzama, Tetiz, Kantunil, Sacalum, Tixpéual, St. Helena, Chikindzonot, Chocholá, Mayapan and Chicxulub Pueblo, and finally on Friday in Ixil, Cansahcab, Calotmul, Chapab, Ucú, and Dzitás.

Mérida residents in their 40’s are expected to be given a time and place for their second doses this week.

Good news for travelers

Access to the AstraZeneca vaccine is good news for Yucatán residents waiting to travel abroad.

The AstraZeneca vaccine is the most widely accepted in the world, with 119 governments recognizing it. The United States, however, is not among them — even the batches manufactured domestically.

Still, it is the most-used vaccine and it is also approved by the World Health Organization along with Pfizer and Sinovac, which have also been administered in Yucatán. Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, and Sinopharm are also WHO-approved.

China’s CanSino vaccine is recognized by only a handful of governments.

More shipments from United States

The US will send Mexico a new batch of as many as 8.5 million vaccines from both Moderna and AstraZeneca with a particular focus on their shared border.

Mexico will receive 3.5 million Moderna shots and as many as 5 million AstraZeneca vaccines from the U.S., Foreign Affairs Minister Marcelo Ebrard said Tuesday.

The announcement came a day after President Andrés Manuel López Obrador held a phone conversation with U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris.

“With this, we are going to be able to continue forward. They’re helping us, and these kinds of acts are humanitarian ones,” said López Obrador. “We are grateful to the government of the United States.”

All adults in areas along the US border are expected to be vaccinated within a month, AMLO said.

The US-Mexican land border — one of the busiest binational crossings in the world — has been partially shut since the pandemic began.

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