Tuesday, June 18, 2024

COVID roundup: AMLO slams health agency again for slow vaccine approval

President López Obrador has once again criticized the World Health Organization (WHO) for its tardiness in approving the Sputnik V and CanSino vaccines.

Asked at his Friday morning news conference whether he would send experts to the WHO to learn about the vaccine approval process, as Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus advised him to do, the president took the opportunity to rail against the organization for a second time this week.

He said it was “unbelievable” that the WHO has not approved the vaccines given that they are being administered on a massive scale around the world and have passed clinical trials.

“How long does it take to gather the data to grant the registration or not?” López Obrador asked.

He said that certification of the unapproved vaccines is urgent because many people inoculated with them need to travel to the United States which, starting November 8, will only admit travelers fully vaccinated with WHO-approved shots. López Obrador confirmed that he sent a letter to the WHO asking it to expedite its approval process.

“They shouldn’t get angry, they should hurry up, that’s what I respectfully say to them and that’s what I set out in the letter,” he said.

It is proven that the vaccines that have been used in Mexico despite not being approved by the WHO protect people from serious illness, the president added.

In other COVID-19 news:

• Mexico’s accumulated case tally rose to 3.77 million on Thursday with 4,798 new infections reported. The Health Ministry reported 322 additional fatalities, lifting the official COVID-19 death toll to 285,669. There are 33,880 estimated active cases.

• More than 486,000 vaccines were administered Thursday, lifting the total number of shots given to 113.95 million. According to The New York Times vaccinations tracker, 55% of Mexico’s population (adults and children) is vaccinated and 41% is fully vaccinated.

• Vaccination of youths aged 12 to 17 with underlying health conditions that make them vulnerable to serious illness will begin in Mexico City on Monday. To get an appointment, adolescents are required to register on the federal government’s vaccination website.

To get a shot on the day of their appointment, the youths will have to present a diagnosis, prescription or other document that proves they suffer from one of 40 ailments that make them eligible. The federal government hasn’t announced any plans to vaccinate minors without any health problems, despite a court order directing it to do so.

Mexico News Daily 

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