The President of Mexico, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, said that he’s not opposed to private companies buying Coronavirus Vaccines on Monday. They could buy and distribute to patients who want to pay for them.
Not Enough Supply
The president noted that there was limited existing supply. He warned companies not to try to buy the Coronavirus Vaccines already promised to the Mexican government.
“We do not oppose commercializing the vaccine, to companies importing it and selling it to those who can pay,” Lopez Obrador said.
“The catch is that there isn’t enough in supply in the world markets.”
“We would be opposed if the ones we have under contract were to be given to a private company, that we would not allow.”
“We would file a complaint,” he said. The medical safety commission in Mexico must approve any vaccine. According to Lopez, no company has yet applied to import vaccines privately.
Currently, the issue is already clearly in the public space, and experts have warned that fakes, frauds, and thefts may spring up amidst the public’s desperation to get a vaccine.
Mexico’s largest retailer Wal-Mart de Mexico had to issue a statement denying a photo advert that depicts a vaccine supposedly on sale for about $20.
“We want to make it clear that the information circulating on social media about a supposed supply of COVID-19 vaccine in our Mexico stores is false.”
This was a statement posted on the company’s social media account.
Moreover, Lopez faced criticism from some top officials in Mexico for handing over logistics to the military. The logistics and control of Coronavirus Vaccines purchases and distribution are in the hands of the military. In his opinion, the military is best-equipped to manage the security and refrigeration chain that some of the vaccines require.
Furthermore, Lopez promised that Coronavirus Vaccines will be freely available to everyone in Mexico. However, the country has so far received around 50,000 doses of the vaccine. To vaccinate the frontline health workers, Mexico would need 2.8 million doses.
Meanwhile, the government is backing three Coronavirus Vaccines, which are now in or entering Phase 3 trials in Mexico. It announced that Novavax Inc. would conduct part of its testing within the shores of Mexico. Two other companies have also been conducting trials in Mexico.
Distribution assisted by the military
Finally, top health officials assured the country that access to Coronavirus Vaccines would be guaranteed for everyone. However, priorities would determine the distribution. That means essentially that the military would only lend its experience. They would help with logistics to ensure vaccines are available all over the country.
The second stage of vaccine administration is expected to begin in February. Also, priority would be given to age, with those over 60 administered first.
Mexico has signed agreements with a host of providers, including Pfizer. The agreement involves tens of millions of doses.