President López Obrador is confident that the United States will supply Covid-19 vaccines to Mexico as three other countries have already done.
Speaking at the inauguration of National Guard barracks in Tequila, Jalisco, on Sunday, López Obrador thanked India, Russia and China for sending vaccines and predicted that he will soon be expressing the same gratitude to Mexico’s northern neighbor.
“I hope to be saying soon that I also thank the United States government because I’m sure that they’re going to help – they just haven’t done so yet. … I always say what I think and feel and I’m sure they will help,” he said.
After speaking to United States President Joe Biden earlier this month, López Obrador said his counterpart demonstrated “great understanding” of Mexico’s request for the U.S. to supply vaccines to its southern neighbor.
The Biden administration has said that it is willing to send vaccines abroad but only after it inoculates its own adult population, which is expected to occur in May.
López Obrador reiterated Sunday that the government will vaccinate all Mexicans free of charge and predicted that all seniors in Jalisco will be inoculated by the end of April. He has said previously that all of Mexico’s approximately 15 million seniors will have received at least one vaccine shot by the middle of April.
Jalisco Governor Enrique Alfaro, who also attended the inauguration, called on the president to review the national vaccination strategy, pointing out that no shots have been administered in Guadalajara and Zapopan, the two municipalities with the highest number of coronavirus cases in the state.
López Obrador responded that the program will reach the Jalisco capital and neighboring Zapopan soon.
He also said his government intends to offer teachers early access to the vaccine so that the nation’s students, who haven’t attended face-to-face classes for almost a year, can return to school.
Online classes are just not the same, López Obrador said before asserting that schools are students’ second home. “We need them to return to the classroom,” he said.
Mexico’s vaccination program began on December 24 but almost three months later only 4.34 million doses have been administered, according to Health Ministry data presented Sunday night. In contrast, the United States has administered more than 107 million doses since its vaccination program began on December 14.
Mexico’s vaccination efforts virtually stalled last month due to a lack of supply but the pace has quickened considerably after additional shipments arrived in the country.
Municipalities where the vaccination of seniors is under way can be tracked on the federal Health Ministry’s vaccination progress map on Mexico News Daily’s coronavirus page, although it appears the information is not being updated regularly.
As of Sunday night, Mexico had received just under 6.5 million vaccine doses – just over 3.2 million Pfizer/BioNTech shots; 870,000 doses of the AstraZeneca/Oxford University vaccine made by the Serum Institute of India; 2 million doses of China’s Sinovac vaccine; and 400,000 doses of Russia’s Sputnik V shot.
Meanwhile, Mexico’s accumulated coronavirus case tally rose by 2,415 on Sunday to almost 2.17 million while the official Covid-19 death toll increased by 220 to 194,710.
Average daily case numbers declined 28% to 5,668 during the first 14 days of March compared to February while reported fatalities decreased 34% to 642.
Source: El Universal (sp)