Governor: COVID-19 vaccines for Mérida’s seniors expected in April

A new batch of 14,680 China's Sinovac vaccine doses arrive in Yucatán on Sunday, March 7. They are intended for older adults in Ticul, Espita and Kanasín. Photo: Courtesy
A new batch of 14,680 China’s Sinovac vaccine doses arrive in Yucatán on Sunday, March 7. They are intended for older adults in Ticul, Espita and Kanasín. Photo: Courtesy

COVID-19 vaccines will begin to be administered to Mérida’s seniors as early as next month, said Yucatán Gov. Mauricio Vila Dosal.

“Once we have vaccinated all people over the age of 60, our state will be in a much better position to continue reopening the economy,” said Vila Dosal.

Residents of Mérida over 60 make up roughly 12% of the total population. This means that over 200,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines would be required to fully immunize the entire 60-plus population, given that each person will require two vaccines. 

It has been widely speculated that COVID-19 vaccination in Mérida will first be available to those 80 and over, before moving down the line to people in their 70s and 60s.

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Last week, Vila Dosal told President Andrés Manuel López Obrador that once people 60 and over have been fully inoculated against COVID-19, teachers should be the next in line

State health authorities say they will be ready to begin applying vaccines in Mérida as soon as they arrive. 

Last week, the Mexican government announced the purchase of 22 million COVID-19 vaccines from China. The purchase includes 10 million Sinovac vaccines as well as 12 million doses of the new Sinopharm vaccine.

It is likely that large shipments of COVID-19 vaccines for use in Mérida will begin to arrive in Yucatán sometime in April — as long as the other two large shipments arrive in time. 

The method used by the federal government to calculate how vaccines are to be allocated to each state remains undisclosed.

As vaccination efforts continue across several municipalities, people in Mérida are growing increasingly frustrated. Several residents of Mérida have tried, with mixed results, to receive vaccines in other cities and towns. 

Around 80% of all COVID-19 cases in Yucatán are concentrated in Mérida.

Carlos Rosado van der Gracht

Born in Mérida, Carlos Rosado van der Gracht is a Mexican/Canadian blogger, photographer and adventure expedition leader. He holds degrees in multimedia, philosophy and translation from universities in Mexico, Canada and Norway.