Pfizer vaccine expected in Yucatan by month’s end

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

The first approved coronavirus vaccines will arrive in Yucatán as soon as late December, said Gov. Mauricio Vila Dosal.

Between 3,000 and 4,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine will go first to hospital personnel, he said. By March, it is expected to be available to the general population.

While the United Kingdom is so far the only country that has approved Pfizer’s vaccine, Mexico is expected to fast-track permission for general use this month. The final analysis showed it was 95% effective in preventing infections, even in older adults, and caused no serious safety concerns, Pfizer said last month.

This is in addition to the CanSino vaccine from a China biologics company, which is undergoing late-stage testing for volunteers.

Vila Dosal urged residents not to let news of a vaccine be an invitation to go back to crowded gatherings. If the current rate of contagion continues in Yucatan, businesses will be locked back down in January, he warned.

A recent spike in new cases was attributed to Day of the Dead festivities.

“If we continue with this trend, there will not be an empty bed in Yucatán, and we will have to close everything again,” he warned. “If now we start making posadas, I don’t want to tell you where we are going to be for the month of January.”

Yucatan’s share of vaccine is part of a nationwide acquisition of 34.4 million doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, Mexico’s health ministry announced on Wednesday.

“What many assumed impossible is now a reality: vaccination is about to start in December 2020,” Mexico’s foreign minister Marcelo Ebrard said in a tweet earlier on Wednesday.

Pfizer submitted the details about its vaccine to the country’s health regulator, Cofepris, last month.

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said that Cofepris would work “day and night” to grant vaccine approval “as fast as possible.”

The first dosages of the Pfizer vaccine will be rolled out in the UK next week.

With information from Reuters, CNN

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