Coronavirus
A dose of Covid vaccine is prepared A dose of Covid vaccine is prepared at a vaccination center in Ecatepec, México state.

More than 100mn doses of vaccine expected by end of May; 1.9mn have been given

In other Covid news, Jalisco, México state close to going yellow

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The federal government expects to receive more than 100 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines by the end of May, a senior health official said Wednesday.

Mexico has received about 2.5 million doses of four vaccines to date and administered 1.9 million as of Wednesday night, according to Health Ministry data.

Health Promotion chief Ricardo Cortés presented a graph at Wednesday night’s coronavirus press briefing that showed that 106.1 million vaccine doses are expected to arrive between February and May.

A total of 3.3 million doses are expected this month, 23.6 million are slated to arrive in March, 33.2 million in April and 46 million in May.

Mexico has already received shipments of Pfizer/BioNTech, Sputnik V and Sinovac vaccines as well as AstraZeneca/Oxford University shots manufactured by the Serum Institute of India.

By the end of May, the government expects to have received 10.9 million doses from Pfizer, 24 million Sputnik shots, 10 million Sinovac doses and just over 2 million AstraZeneca shots from India.

It also expects to receive 41.4 million AstraZeneca doses to be manufactured in Argentina and 12.9 million doses of the single-shot CanSino Biologics vaccine. Those deliveries are slated to begin in March.

In addition, Mexico is to receive 4.8 million doses by the end of May via the intergovernmental Covax intiative, which aims to ensure rapid and equitable access to vaccines for all countries.

Cortés noted that there could be changes but expressed confidence that the companies will deliver the doses according to the agreed schedule.

He also presented data on Wednesday that showed that more than 1.1 million vaccine doses have been administered to health workers, almost 740,000 to seniors and about 17,000 to teachers.

Mexico is administering vaccines according to a five-stage national vaccination plan and is aiming to inoculate about 75% of the total adult population by the end of the year.

The vaccine delivery calendar for February through May.
The vaccine delivery calendar for February through May.

Mexico has been hit harder than most countries by the pandemic, ranking third for Covid-19 deaths with 181,815 including 1,006 reported on Wednesday. It ranks 13th for total cases, according to Johns Hopkins University, with 2.06 million as of Wednesday, a figure considered a vast undercount due to the low testing rate here.

In other Covid news:

• Jalisco Governor Enrique Alfaro predicted that the state will switch to medium risk yellow on the updated federal government stoplight map to be published on Friday.

“For the first time … [since the introduction of the stoplight system], Jalisco is already yellow according to the evaluation that the federal government does,” Alfaro said on Tuesday.

Jalisco, currently high risk orange on the stoplight map, has “turned the corner” after going through an “extremely difficult” phase of the pandemic in January, the governor said. Alfaro said that restrictions in Jalisco will be eased if the federal government downgrades the risk level in the state as he predicted it will.

“We can’t continue thinking that people will stay at home. People have to work, people have to fight to get ahead with their families,” he said.

Jalisco has recorded just over 77,000 confirmed coronavirus cases, according to federal data, although the state government, which counts results from rapid tests and private labs, says that almost 220,000 people have tested positive.

More than 10,000 people have lost their lives to Covid-19 in the state but hospitalizations have recently trended downwards.

About 24% of general care hospital beds set aside for coronavirus patients are currently occupied while almost 31% of those with ventilators are in use. There are about 1,300 active cases in the state, according to federal Health Ministry estimates.

Alfaro attributed the recent improvement in the state’s coronavirus situation to a range of factors.

“It’s not just the government strategies, it’s [also] the discipline and commitment of citizens. It’s related to the weather as well, of course, the departure of the cold season …”

• México state is also close to switching to medium risk yellow from high risk orange, local authorities believe. Health Minister Gabriel O’Shea Cuevas said Wednesday that the occupancy rate for general care beds has declined to 51% while only 44% of beds with ventilators are occupied.

He described the reductions as a great achievement and noted that the occupancy rate for general care and critical care beds is among 10 indicators used by the federal government to determine the risk level in each of the country’s 32 states.

The health minister said that México state, which ranks second behind Mexico City for both accumulated cases and Covid-19 deaths and only switched from red to orange at the start of last week, could soon transition to yellow.

“If we continue with the distancing measures, the correct use of face masks and the washing of hands, we certainly could move to yellow in these coming weeks,” O’Shea said.

México state has recorded more than 214,000 confirmed cases since the start of the pandemic and 20,819 Covid-19 deaths. There are currently an estimated 5,004 active cases in the state, Mexico’s most populous.

• The government of Puebla announced this week that most coronavirus restrictions currently in place will remain in effect until March 8. All nonessential businesses must continue to close on Sundays and Mondays, strict capacity limits remain in effect, the prohibition on alcohol sales between Friday and Sunday continues and public transit services cannot operate after 10:00 p.m.

One change to the restrictions is that restaurants can welcome back in-house diners but they mustn’t exceed 20% of their normal capacity. Another change is that churches and other places of worship can now hold services with a 30% capacity limit.

Puebla, currently high risk orange on the stoplight map, has recorded almost 70,000 coronavirus cases and 8,632 Covid-19 deaths. New case numbers and deaths are trending downward but slowly. Puebla city, which has recorded more than 44,000 cases, ranks fifth for case numbers among Mexico’s more than 2,400 municipalities.

The only municipalities with higher case numbers are Iztapalapa, Álvaro Obregón, Gustavo A. Madero and Tlalpan, all of which are located in Mexico City, the country’s coronavirus epicenter.

Source: Forbes México (sp), Expansión Política (sp), El Financiero (sp), Milenio (sp) 

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