COVID-19 VACCINATION STARTS IN MEXICO WITH HEALTH WORKERS
As the government battles a sharp surge in infections that has pushed hospitals to their limits, Mexico plans to begin inoculating health workers against COVID-19 on Thursday with the arrival of the first vaccines.
President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Wednesday, vaccinations will begin at hospitals in Mexico City and the northern city of Saltillo, before the first Pfizer vaccines were flown into the capital from Belgium.
Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard told a news conference at Mexico City’s airport,
“It’s true that we still face a tremendous pandemic, but today is the beginning of the end.”
The foreign ministry said,
still, the first shipment only contained 3,000 doses of the vaccine. The next one will contain 50,000 doses, with Mexico slated to receive 1.4 million units of the two-shot Pfizer vaccine by Jan. 31.
Costa Rica by contrast said, it would receive its first 9,750 doses of Pfizer’s vaccine on Wednesday night.
Lopez Obrador said he wanted the vaccine to be used in additional areas as officials seek to reach workers at nearly 1,000 hospitals treating coronavirus patients nationwide. Senior citizens and people with chronic illnesses would be next.
Pfizer’s is the first COVID-19 vaccine to reach Mexico, which has also signed deals for vaccines from other firms.
While urging residents to avoid holiday gatherings and socializing, Mexico has put the heavily populated capital and two states into semi-lockdowns to try to prevent the virus spreading more.
Mexico City could breach its hospital capacity in late December and peak in late January, according to Stanford University-Mexico CIDE research group study.
The Mexico City government, last weekend,
sent out a text message saying hospitals were “at the limit.”
Mexico is the fourth highest death toll worldwide. It has recorded nearly 1.4 million cases and 119,495 deaths from COVID-19.
In Mexico City’s bustling center, banners warned “you are in a high infection area” while a message on loudspeakers urged the public to wear masks and avoid parties.
Street vendor Ricardo Flores said of his family, “The only thing is for us all to be well and get through this year. There won’t be any Christmas dinner, there won’t be any gifts.”
Gerardo Reyes, an accountant, explained that he had taken precautions to allow his family to celebrate together. “We all got tested to be sure we won’t have any problems.”