Mexico has 100 billion pesos (US $4.48 billion) in the budget to purchase a coronavirus vaccine once it is developed and becomes available, says President López Obrador, although he is hopeful it will be provided at no or minimal cost.
“In the event that we have to buy the vaccines, there is a budget, we are already estimating the cost of doses,” he said, referring to speculation that some companies may produce and distribute the virus free of charge, a measure López Obrador first proposed to the United Nations in April.
“But even buying them, the government of Mexico would have sufficient funds. If the doses cost a lot, we have a reserve of up to 100 billion pesos,” he said at yesterday’s morning press conference. “We have healthy public finances and the most important thing is the health of the people.”
Accompanied by his health cabinet and Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard, López Obrador said that the potential expense of the vaccine will be incorporated into the 2021 budget, which he will present September 6.
“Mexico has special consideration because we were the first to propose that the vaccine be socialized, that it be made available to all countries, all peoples, and that drugs should not be hoarded,” López Obrador said. “There is a resolution in the U.N., at the proposal of Mexico … we think we are going to be given special attention.”
Ebrard announced that Mexico has reached an agreement with three companies developing coronavirus vaccines to begin clinical trials in Mexico, which he says will take place between September and January.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health reported 926 deaths from Covid-19, bringing the country’s total to 53,929 as of Tuesday evening. There were 492,522 accumulated cases, 6,686 more than Monday.
Deputy Minister Hugo López-Gatell said that 41,317 cases are considered active, which refers to people who have had symptoms in the last 14 days.
Across the country 1.11 million coronavirus tests have been applied and 81,259 people are awaiting results.
Nationwide, 40% of hospital beds remain available as do 64% of beds with ventilators.