Mexico to reverse trend and give COVID-19 booster shots | Health Info
MEXICO CITY (AP) – Mexican officials reversed their previous stance against the administration of coronavirus booster vaccines and said on Tuesday they were exploring a plan to give third doses to people over 60.
The announcement came as Mexico nears 450,000 deaths from COVID-19. The country has only fully vaccinated about 50% of its 126 million people.
President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said plans for the recalls were still being worked out, but added: “It won’t be long, we have the vaccines.”
López Obrador’s administration has long resisted the adoption of measures such as mandatory masks, mass testing and travel restrictions that have been used in many other countries.
Deputy Health Secretary Hugo López-Gatell had said as recently as August that there was no scientific evidence to justify the administration of booster vaccines, and suggested they were part of a campaign by vaccine manufacturers to increase sales.
“This proposal is strongly encouraged by pharmaceutical companies, but it has been rejected by international organizations (…) because there is no scientific evidence indicating the need for booster vaccines,” López-Gatell told the ‘era.
The government has also long resisted vaccination of minors, but recently gave in and began administering vaccines to young people between the ages of 15 and 17.
Of particular concern are teachers nationwide, almost all of whom received China’s CanSino vaccine in the spring. It has been suggested that the protection of the single dose vaccine begins to wane.
The number of coronavirus deaths confirmed by testing in Mexico stood at 293,950 on Tuesday, but because the country does so little testing, many people have died without testing. The government’s own analysis of death certificates indicates the true toll is around 448,658.
Officials downplayed the threat posed by the Omicron variant first identified in South Africa, saying the new strain illustrates the need to get more vaccines to poorer countries.
“It’s not that the new variant is terrible”, López Obrador “It’s that the poor countries of the world have been abandoned.”
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