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New delays in human trials for Mexico’s Patria COVID-19 vaccine

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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. Sign up for the Yucatán Roundup, a free newsletter, which delivers the week's top headlines every Monday.
Severe delays in clinical trials and a lack of transparency call in to question the viability of relying on the Patria COVID-19 vaccine. Photo: Courtesy

The development of Mexico’s Patria COVID-19 vaccine has fallen several months behind schedule

The first phase of clinical trials for the vaccine was scheduled to be complete by the end of May, but this milestone is yet to be reached. 

Nevertheless, the director of Mexico’s council for science and technology, María Elena Álvarez-Buylla Roces, says that the research team remains hopeful that the vaccine will have concluded all of its clinical trials by the end of the year.

But despite the optimism, few details or updates about the clinical trials or the vaccines development process have been forthcoming. 

There are also concerns that Mexico does not have the industrial facilities needed to produce the vaccine in numbers enough large to offer vaccines to all citizens and residents, as had originally been the plan.

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has described the Patria vaccine as “an essential tool in the struggle against the coronavirus.”

Mexico has spent well over 16 billion pesos on imported COVID-19 vaccines, according to the federal government’s own figures. 

Critics argue that if the Patria vaccine is not ready by the time booster shots are required, the country may find itself unable to afford to purchase doses from abroad. 

Earlier: 13-year-old dies and COVID quarantines spike in Yucatán

The vaccine was developed by the Mexican drug manufacturer Avimex in conjunction with several state-run laboratories and Mexico’s national university.

Querétaro’s state university is reportedly working on a COVID-19 vaccine of its own.

The vaccine, QUIVAX 17.4, has shown promise in being effective against all strains of coronavirus, according to the university’s director, Teresa García Gasca.

“The idea is to complete the first two phases of human trials of the vaccine before the end of the year,” said García Gasca.

To secure research financing for the QUIVAX 17.4 vaccine, the university’s “vacunatón”  — a vaccine telethon — has raised 20 million pesos, or roughly US$1 million.

Other COVID-19 vaccine candidates are also being developed by the State University of Michoacan as well as the UNAM’s Center for Biomedical Research

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