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Coronavirus vaccinations begin Monday for residents 60 and older

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Coronavirus vaccines are slowly rolling out. Photo: iStock

Now that the campaign to inoculate medical personnel has concluded, Yucatán is ready to tell elderly residents to roll up their sleeves.

State Health Secretary Mauricio Sauri Vivas said that new doses will arrive Sunday in time for vaccinations on Monday.

Citizens and residents should first register online. An official will call those who are next in line to confirm a place and time.

Foreigners with permanent or temporary residency are eligible to register. Anyone with trouble understanding Spanish should ask for a confirmation by text, and then communication with a translation app.

Mexico’s vaccination roll-out started out well on Dec. 23. It was narrowly the first country in Latin America to receive a vaccine shipment. But the campaign has since stalled.

So far, only 0.56 percent of Mexicans have been vaccinated, regionally lagging behind Brazil and Chile, according to Oxford University.

Mexico has received 766,350 doses of the two-dose regimen Pfizer vaccine, well short of the 34.4 million it was expecting by March. Most of the doses have already been administered, leaving many without access to a second dose, and the country scrambling to find other sources.

On Thursday, Mexico announced it had received ingredients to manufacture China’s CanSino vaccine, enough to produce two million doses a day after giving emergency approval for that and Sinovac, another Chinese vaccine.

Mexico also expected a shipment of one million doses on Sunday from India of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Last week, Deputy Health Minister Hugo Lopez-Gatell announced a contract for 7.4 million doses of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine, with an initial delivery due later in February.

Still, an analyst said that Mexico is well-positioned to carry out an effective vaccination campaign, once the doses become available.

“The infrastructure is there, the expertise within the health institutions of the country exists,” said Carlos Peterson, a senior analyst for the Eurasia Group. “Once they start vaccinating, they might not be very organized, but they will start vaccinating people fairly quickly.”

The campaign to deliver doses has been rocky, beginning with a vaccination registration site that crashed repeatedly for days. It was down Saturday morning, as well.

And responsibility for the acquisition and distribution of the vaccines was delegated to two different departments, creating a disjointed workflow, critics said.

Analysts also said President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s unwillingness to model good behavior, including social distancing and wearing a mask, and a reluctance to impose a nationwide lockdown, has been counterproductive.

With information from Diario de Yucatán, Al Jazeera

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