Mexico Insists on Vaccinating the Population With the Cuban Abdala Vaccine and Buys Almost 3 Million More Doses

Between Friday and Saturday, about 3 million Cuban vaccines against Covid arrived in Mexico. (X/@SSalud_mx)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Mexico, 29 October 2023 — The Government of Mexico insists on buying Abdala vaccines from Cuba despite the fact that, of the 9 million doses it acquired in September last year, it had only applied 114,008 as of June 30, and despite the the population’s growing rejection of the Cuban formula and of local authorities for sending expired vaccines to the states. Between Friday and Saturday, two flights with 2,851,000 doses arrived at Military Air Base No. 1, in Santa Lucía, in the State of Mexico.

According to a brief statement from the Ministry of Health, these vaccines will be used as part of the national winter campaign, which began on October 16 and will end on March 31, 2024. In the vaccination scheme against Covid, the Russian drug Sputnik, which has not yet arrived in Mexico, will also be used.

The use of the Cuban vaccine has been questioned by specialists because it is not endorsed by the World Health Organization and was formulated against the original variant that emerged four years ago. “The virus over this time has been changing structurally,” warned the 2020 National Health Award and infectious disease specialist Francisco Moreno Sánchez, in statements to journalist Carmen Aristegui.

The specialist also reiterated that both Abdala and Sputnik “are not useful; their effectiveness is highly questioned”

“The vaccines that are currently applied are against the variant that is circulating now,” the specialist added and regretted that the Government of Mexico promotes the use of a formula that perhaps “is useless and generates false security for the population.” He also reiterated that both Abdala and Sputnik “are not useful; their effectiveness is highly questioned.”

Health Personnel in Mexico apply a vaccine against influenza to a person in Mexico City. (X/@CDMX_IAPP)

The shipment was delivered to the Biological and Reactive Laboratories of Mexico (Birmex), which will be responsible for the distribution of the vaccine to all states.

After the newspapers AM and El Universal denounced the use of expired Cuban formulas in the state of Morelos and the cities of Fresnillo and Jerez (Zacatecas), the authorities of Guanajuato refused to apply Abdala to the population.

In the state of Quintana Roo, the College of Physicians joined the rejection against the Cuban vaccine. The president of the organization, Irma Archundia Rivero, said that according to a research program on epidemiological risks of the National Autonomous University of Mexico, there has been a wide circulation of the Covid-19 virus at the community level, so the authorities must check whether the biologicals they will be applying are the correct ones to stop these new strains.

However, the State Health Services promote the application of the Cuban vaccine, of which 50,000 doses arrived on October 19 at that institution, with priority for risk groups, children, the elderly and people with comorbidities.

Translated by Regina Anavy


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