The federal government has launched an online platform where people aged 60 and over can register their details in order to be vaccinated against Covid-19.
César Vélez, the government’s information technology chief, said Tuesday that the platform – mivacuna.salud.gob.mx – is intended to register seniors who live in medium-sized and large cities.
(The website was not functional on Tuesday as several attempts to reach it were unsuccessful.)
Vélez explained the online registration process at the government’s morning news conference and stressed that the data collected by the platform will be secure.
Seniors will be asked to provide their CURP identity number and after verifying that their personal details are correct should click on a tab that reads “Quiero vacunarme” (I want to get vaccinated.)
They will then be asked to provide their full address, telephone number and email address, if they have one. After they have completed the registration process, seniors will be issued a digital receipt with a unique file number.
When the government has Covid-19 vaccines available to inoculate seniors – vaccination of that sector of the population is expected to commence sometime this month – government employees known as servants of the nation will call people who have registered and give them a vaccination appointment date and location.
Vélez said that people should eat and take any required medications before attending their appointments and recommended arriving at the designated vaccination center 15 minutes early.
Seniors will not be permitted to choose the vaccine with which they wish to be inoculated, he said. President López Obrador said in January that the two-shot Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine will be used to inoculate seniors who live in isolated areas, Russia’s two-shot Sputnik V vaccine will be used in towns and medium-sized cities and China’s CanSino Biologics shot will be used in large cities.
Also at Tuesday’s press conference, Deputy Health Minister Hugo López-Gatell said that Mexico has signed a contract to purchase the Sputnik V vaccine.
The announcement comes a week after López Obrador spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin and struck an agreement to acquire 24 million doses of the vaccine that Russia says is completely safe and has an efficacy rate of 91.4%.
López-Gatell presented a timetable for delivery that showed that Mexico will receive 400,000 doses in February, 1 million in March and 6 million in April. Mexico also expects to receive shipments of the Pfizer, AstraZeneca/Oxford University and CanSino vaccines this month.
The Sputnik vaccine has not been approved by the health regulator Cofepris but the deputy minister said that emergency use authorization was expected within hours.
The peer-reviewed medical journal The Lancet published interim results on Tuesday of a phase 3 trial of the vaccine and said that it appears safe and effective.
“Recipients generated robust antibody responses to the spike protein. … They also showed evidence of T-cell responses, consistent with an immune response that should not quickly wane,” The Lancet said.
“… The immunity required to prevent disease arose within 18 days of the first dose. That protection applied to all age groups, including those older than 60 years …”
Alejandro Macías, an infectious disease doctor, a member of the National Autonomous University’s coronavirus commission and the federal government’s point man during the swine flu pandemic in 2009, said last week that people should trust Cofepris’ judgment on the Sputnik vaccine.
If the regulator approves it and says it’s a good vaccine, “let’s get it,” he said at a Covid-19 vaccine forum. “Of course I would get it,” Macías added.
“Its efficacy has been questioned [but] it’s safe, according to what we know, and we’ll have to trust the authorities.”
The urgent need for a wider vaccine rollout in Mexico cannot be understated: January was easily the worst month of the pandemic with almost 440,000 new cases and 32,729 Covid-19 deaths reported.
The accumulated case tally rose to just under 1.87 million on Monday with 5,448 new cases reported while Mexico’s official Covid-19 death toll increased to 159,100 with 564 additional fatalities.
Source: El Financiero (sp)