All Mexican adults have been offered at least one shot of a COVID-19 vaccine, Deputy Health Minister Hugo López-Gatell said Friday.
“With great pleasure we report today the conclusion of this important stage and the achievement of the goal we committed to,” he told reporters at President López Obrador’s morning press conference.
Making vaccines available to all Mexicans aged 18 and over was possible thanks to the government’s Correcaminos (Roadrunner) vaccination operation, López-Gatell told reporters in Campeche.
“The largest health crisis the world has faced in the past 100 years … of course required [Mexico’s] largest public health operation … of the last 100 years and that was the Correcaminos vaccination operation,” the coronavirus point man said, highlighting that vaccines reached “literally every corner of the country” and that more than 300,000 people participated in the rollout.
After thanking the president, numerous officials and government departments for the contributions they made, López-Gatell said that 83% of the adult population has been vaccinated with at least one dose. All told, more than 74.4 million Mexicans have received shots, and about four in five adults are fully vaccinated.
López-Gatell described the vaccine rollout as a “complete success,” noting that more Mexicans than expected rolled up their sleeves.
“… Only 62% [of Mexicans] said they would accept the vaccine,” he said, citing data from the 2020 National Health and Nutrition Survey.
“An additional 10% had doubts and the rest, almost 28%, a little more than 28%, said they would reject it. But we’ve now reached 83% and we’re continuing to persuade people to go and get vaccinated,” López-Gatell said.
“… What comes next? The COVID vaccination operation doesn’t stop, … we have to complete the second doses. … We also have to finish vaccinating pregnant women,” he said, adding that young people will also be offered shots when they turn 18.
Although health regulator Cofepris has authorized the use of the Pfizer vaccine to inoculate adolescents aged 12 to 17, the government hasn’t offered shots to that age group with the exception of youths who suffer from underlying health problems that make them susceptible to serious disease.
López-Gatell asserted that Mexico won’t face any shortages of vaccines in the near future, highlighting that the government will receive a total of approximately 250 million purchased or donated vaccines.
“We thank the United States government for generous donations that were made very opportunely,” he said. “Today the goal is accomplished; we’ve vaccinated adults,” the deputy minister reiterated.
In other COVID-19 news:
• A total of 29 states are green on the new coronavirus stoplight map, which will take effect Monday and remain in force until November 14. The only states that are not green are Baja California, which is high risk orange, and Guanajuato and Aguascalientes, which are medium risk yellow.
• Mexico City and México state will remain low risk green on the coronavirus stoplight map, authorities said Friday. Both states went green on October 18.
“For the first time in the entire pandemic we’re going to start a third consecutive week on the green light,” said Mexico City official Eduardo Clark.
He said that the number of COVID patients in Mexico City hospitals declined by 176 over the past week to 682. Clark said that if the downward trend continues at the same rate, the number of hospitalized patients will reach its lowest level since April 2020 at the end of next week. Active case numbers have also declined from about 7,000 a week ago to just under 5,000 currently, he said.
In neighboring México state, all adults aged 30 and over have been offered two vaccine doses and all those aged 18 to 29 have had the opportunity to get at least one shot, Governor Alfredo del Mazo said.
“… This allows us to continue on a good path. México state remains on the green light [level] and this allows us to continue” with the reopening of the economy, he said.
• Morelos Governor Cuauhtémoc Blanco announced Friday that his state will switch to low risk green on Monday.
“This advance is very important but we mustn’t forget that COVID-19 remains among us and we mustn’t drop our guard,” he wrote on Twitter.
It’s the first time since the start of the pandemic that Morelos, currently medium risk yellow, will be green on the federal stoplight map.
• The Health Ministry reported 4,001 new cases and 320 additional COVID-19 deaths on Friday. Mexico’s accumulated tallies are currently 3.8 million and 287,951, respectively. Estimated active cases number 29,125.
Mexico News Daily