After the UK, Bahrain, Canada and the US approved the vaccine candidate by the collaborative duo of Pfizer and BioNTech, the Mexican Federal Commission for the Protection against Sanitary Risk (Cofepris) has now approved the vaccine for an emergency use.
"Cofepris gave an emergency use authorisation to the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine against the SARS-CoV-2 virus to prevent the spread of COVID-19," Deputy Health Minister Hugo Lopez Gatell said.
As per the agreement, Mexico will purchase 34.4 million doses of the said mRNA-based vaccine, the first 250,000 doses of which are expected to arrive in the country by December-end. January and February will see another 2 million doses being supplied, while the monthly supply will increase to 12 million doses starting March 2021.
In addition, Mexico also has preliminary purchase agreements with the Chinese-Canadian vaccine candidate of about 35 million doses, as well as with the UK firm AstraZeneca for 77.4 million doses. The country is also party to the international Covax mechanism, which will enable it to purchase another 51.6 million doses.
As the developers have shown commitment to deliver the doses on their own to Mexico, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine holds a major disadvantage of requiring temperature conditions as low as -70 degree Celsius in order for it to be transported.
As of December 11, Mexico remains the fourth worst-affected country by the pandemic in the world, with deaths tallying more than 113,019, and over 1.22 million cases being recorded.