Mexico will begin offering Covid-19 vaccines to people aged 40–49 in July, President López Obrador said Tuesday.
Speaking at his regular news conference, López Obrador said the government will start inoculating people in that age group as soon as those aged 50–59 have been offered at least one vaccine dose.
The vaccination of the latter group began earlier this month after all of Mexico’s approximately 15 million seniors, those aged 60 and over, were given the opportunity to get a shot.
The president said vaccination of seniors — some of whom are still waiting to get their second required dose — is “practically” over, noting also that the majority of health workers have been immunized.
The campaign to inoculate teachers, considered a priority so that schools can reopen after remaining closed for more than a year, will conclude before the end of May, López Obrador added.
Pregnant women are now also eligible to receive vaccines and can get their shots at any government vaccination center across the country.
“We’re doing well,” López Obrador said, adding that more vaccination centers will be set up and additional vaccination brigades will be deployed to further speed up the process.
Mexico has administered 23.64 million vaccine doses to date out of almost 29.8 million received, meaning that about 80% of delivered shots have been used.
Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said Tuesday that the government expects to have received 68.6 million doses by July 4.
(The government said in February that it expected to receive more than 100 million doses by the end of this month.)
“… That means … we’ll have a little over 1 million doses per day from this point going forward, which is what the president has requested,” Ebrard said.
The foreign minister and López Obrador both noted that Mexico could receive additional doses from the United States government, which announced Monday that it intends to send 80 million surplus shots abroad by the end of June.
Mexico has already received about 2.7 million AstraZeneca doses from the U.S. government under a loan scheme in addition to the shipments of Pfizer, Sputnik V, Cansino, SinoVac and AstraZeneca shots it has purchased.
According to the newspaper El País, Mexico has so far spent 15 billion pesos (US $755.7 million) on Covid-19 vaccines and has agreements to acquire shots worth a combined 50 billion pesos.
The pace of the vaccine rollout in Mexico has been slow compared to countries such as the United States and the United Kingdom but fast in comparison with many other nations.
The New York Times vaccinations tracker currently shows that Mexico has administered 18 doses per 100 people, placing it 67th among 170 countries included on the tracker for per capita shots given.
Meanwhile, Mexico’s pandemic situation has gradually improved since the peak of the second, and worst, wave of the virus in January, with both new cases and Covid-19 deaths continually declining from one week to the next.
Mexico’s confirmed case tally rose by 822 on Monday to 2.38 million while the official Covid-19 death toll increased by 56 to 220,493, a figure widely believed to be a vast undercount. Monday’s case tally and death toll were both the second lowest daily figures reported this year.