Federal health authorities are calling on adult volunteers to take part in human trials for Mexico’s Patria COVID-19 vaccine.
The second phase of research on the vaccine is scheduled to last a year and is open to people over 18 living in Mexico City and who have been previously vaccinated.
The fact that only previously vaccinated people are eligible for the study suggests that the study is treating the vaccine as a booster, instead of a full-fledged vaccine to be used on its own.
In April 2021, it was reported that the first phase of clinical trials was scheduled to be completed by late May and that the vaccine would be ready by that winter.
Authorities are now saying that the vaccine will not likely make it into the general public’s arms until 2023 — pushing back the date even further.
“This is not something we can rush, it’s extremely important to get it right the first time,” said President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.
The development of the vaccine has been outsourced to Mexican drug manufacturer Avimex with the cooperation of several laboratories and Mexico’s national university.
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.
But the worldwide demand of these vaccines has meant that the speed of vaccination programs has been tempered by availability. Part of the reasoning behind the development of the Patria vaccine has to do with economics.
Though the exact amount of money spent by Mexico on purchasing COVID-19 vaccines is not known, it is likely to run into the billions of dollars.
To date, the Mexican government has fully vaccinated 56.5% of its population, according to data collected by the WHO.
Mexico has reported 4.26 million cases of COVID-19 infections and over 300,000 deaths, though even the government admits that the true number is likely much higher.
State health authorities in Yucatán reported 459 new coronavirus cases Thursday as health authorities walked the state back from the green to yellow alert.