On Sunday, March 28, Mexico will receive 1.5 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, part of a package of 2.7 million doses that the Joe Biden administration promised to “loan” to its southern neighbor. (Mexico has agreed to replace the vaccines at a later date.)
The doses were produced at plants in the United States but have been warehoused pending FDA approval of the British-Swedish vaccine.
This will be the first batch of vaccines that the United States has shared with any nation since the start of its inoculation program last December. The World Health Organization has criticized wealthy nations such as the United States and the United Kingdom for their self-centered vaccine strategies.
As of March 25, the United States had administered anti-Covid doses to 39.01 percent of its population, compared to Mexico’s figure of 4.75 percent. Many African nations have yet to administer a single jab.
On Thursday of this week, a new batch of one million doses of the Chinese Sinovac vaccine arrived in Mexico City, bringing the total Mexico has received from the Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Sinovac, Sputnik V and CanSino laboratories to around nine million. So far, 6.2 million doses have been applied, mostly to adults over 60 and medical personnel.
Due to these new arrivals, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador this week promised to ramp up the vaccination program for elderly citizens.
Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard thanked his U.S. counterpart, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, for his “intervention” in getting the vaccines to Mexico, and said the deal highlighted the good relations that exists between the two governments.