President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has authorized the purchase of COVID-19 vaccines by the private sector.
But no entity other than the federal government has been able to procure the coveted vaccines.
The main obstacle is availability, as countries and companies around the world scramble over an extremely limited supply.
Mexico has warned consumers against online scammers offering doses of the vaccine. Pharmaceutical giants Pfizer and Moderna have also warned against fake websites that use their names and logos to defraud customers.
According to a press statement from Mexico’s health authority, the first shipment of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine is expected to arrive in Mexico by Feb. 15. The shipment of 24 million doses was reportedly procured by López Obrador during a phone call with President Vladimir Putin of Russia.
“As more doses become available, Mexico will continue to expand its vaccination efforts. We have no problem at all with having private companies and state governments purchasing their own doses, as long as these moves contribute to the nation’s best interest,” said Hugo López-Gatell, federal undersecretary of prevention and health.
López-Gatell also highlighted the importance of accurately coordinating and tracking all vaccinations administered through the private sector, thus ensuring that individuals do not “double-up” on inoculations.
No strategy yet exists to inform consumers about private companies legitimately selling vaccines. Sen. José Ramón Enríquez Herrera has called on Mexico’s pro-consumer agency, Profeco, to help build tools to help consumers make informed decisions.