Mexico OKs 2nd vaccine, but not its 1-shot alternative

China-based CanSino Biologics is testing a coronavirus vaccine in Yucatan, where up to 2,000 volunteers will be selected.

Mexico has approved the Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine for emergency use.

Monday’s progress will push a slow-moving vaccination drive that has only given about 44,000 shots since the third week of December.

Until Monday, the Pfizer two-shot vaccine was the only one approved for use in Mexico.

Health Undersecretary Hugo López-Gatell retracted his earlier announcement in which he erroneously reported approval for the inexpensive Chinese one-shot CanSino vaccine.

Mexico has pinned much of its hopes on easier, cheaper alternative, which was tested in Yucatán.

“It will make things a lot easier for us,” said López-Gatell, the country’s top epidemiologist.

Foreign secretary Marcelo Ebrard celebrated the approval as “very good news.” 

AstraZeneca said in August it would work with Mexico and Argentina to produce 150 million initial doses for distribution across Latin America, and later produce at least 400 million doses.

Mexico is the fourth country to OK the AstraZenica shot. Britain became the first country to grant emergency approval last week, followed by Argentina. India on Sunday said it had also approved the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.

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