The federal government will offer COVID-19 vaccines to more than 1 million children with disabilities and illnesses, but it currently has no plans to inoculate minors without any underlying health problems.
“The decision was taken to vaccinate children with some diseases, … children who need special treatment. More than 1 million children will be vaccinated in the country, children with disabilities, with some kind of problem, a disease,” President López Obrador told reporters at his regular news conference on Wednesday.
Health regulator Cofepris has approved the use of the Pfizer vaccine to immunize children aged 12 and over but the federal government has only offered shots to youths who have obtained injunctions ordering their inoculation.
López Obrador said earlier this month that the government’s medical experts believe that the vaccination of children is unnecessary, even though infections among minors and hospitalizations have increased as the highly contagious delta strain circulates widely.
The president’s announcement on Wednesday was foreshadowed by remarks made by Deputy Health Minister Hugo López-Gatell last week. He said in an interview that 1 million children with underlying health conditions that make them susceptible to serious disease would be offered shots.
“We have identified one million people between 12 and 17 with cancer, renal or hepatic insufficiency, HIV/AIDS, transplanted organs, congenital diseases and other [conditions] that diminish the immune system,” he told the newspaper La Jornada.
In other COVID-19 news:
• Mexico’s accumulated case tally rose by 11,603 on Wednesday to just under 3.6 million . The official COVID-19 death increased by 811 to 273,391. There are 66,264 estimated active cases across the country, a 3% increase compared to Tuesday.
Mexico City has the highest number of active cases among the 32 states with almost 12,000, according to the Health Ministry.
On a per capita basis, Tabasco has the highest number of active cases with about 170 per 100,000 people. Colima, which also has about 170 active cases per 100,000 people, ranks second followed by Mexico City with a rate of about 130. A graph in the Health Ministry’s daily COVID report shows no other states have more than 100 active cases per 100,000 people.
• Just under 96.8 million vaccine doses have been administered in an almost nine-month-long vaccination rollout after more than 712,000 were given Tuesday, health authorities reported.
Almost 62.5 million adults – 70% of the eligible population – have received at least one dose. Of that number, 42.2 million are fully vaccinated.
López Obrador said Wednesday that all adults will have been offered at least one shot by the end of October.
“We’re going to have enough vaccines. Once we finish vaccinating adults and children [with disabilities and illnesses] we’ll see if we’ll start vaccinating again,” he said, suggesting that booster shots could be offered.
Mexico has received more than 112 million doses, among which are Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Moderna, CanSino, Sinovac, Sputnik V and Johnson & Johnson shots.
• There are 8,745 hospitalized COVID-19 patients across Mexico, according to federal data.
Data from the Acute Serious Respiratory Infection information system shows that general care COVID wards are at capacity in 78 hospital across the country. An additional 13 hospitals have occupancy rates of 90% or higher.
Oaxaca Health Minister Juan Carlos Márquez Heine said Tuesday that 13 hospitals in the southern state are completely full.
Among the other states where hospitals have reached capacity are Guanajuato, Tamaulipas, México state, Yucatán and Nuevo León.
Mexico News Daily