Mexico’s Patria COVID-19 vaccine will be ready for its rollout by November, according to President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.
The news comes as the World Health Organization warns that new cases of COVID-19 are on the rise in Mexico.
A steady increase in cases since the summer, as well as new variants, have raised concerns that COVID-19 could make a comeback this winter.
The Patria vaccine began development in early 2021 by the Mexican drug manufacturer Avimex in conjunction with several state-run laboratories and Mexico’s national university.
President López Obrador was vaccinated on live TV, but he received the Cuban Abdala vaccine, not Mexico’s Patria.
When asked why the vaccine he received was not the Mexican Patria, the president did not answer directly but reiterated that the new vaccine would be ready by November.
It was hoped that the vaccine would be ready by late 2021 or early 2022, but several setbacks, including a lack of infrastructure, severely delayed its readiness.
The Patria vaccine works by carrying a specialized gene through a vector. Cells then begin to reproduce “S proteins.” This alerts the body’s immune system to produce antibodies against COVID-19.
It is unclear if the vaccine will require a double dose. But because single-dose vaccines, including those developed by Cansino and Johnson & Johnson, have proven to be less effective, the “single shot” scenario does not seem likely.
The president also made a point to ensure the public that the Patria vaccine will be completely safe and free to all.
Like most other Latin American countries, Mexico has relied on importing shipments of foreign-made COVID-19 vaccines from the United States, Europe, China, and Russia.