14ymedio, Ángel Salinas, Mexico, 1 September 2023 — The Supreme Court of Mexico has ordered the Federal Ministry of Health on Thursday to reveal the number of vaccines against COVID-19, including the Cuban Abdala, which expired before their application, as well as the manufacturer and batch of origin. In a statement, the Court stressed that this information “does not put national security at risk” nor the fight against the pandemic, as argued by the Government, which did not want to reveal the data.
14ymedio learned that at least 335,244 doses manufactured on the Island expired in August and that they had been distributed in the states of Coahuila, Chihuahua, Jalisco, Puebla and Oaxaca. Of these, 70,000 were authorized in Coahuila to be applied as a booster against the virus for another 18 months.
The Government of Mexico also defined as “classified,” for five years, all the information related to the hiring of Cuban specialists, as well as the agreements and payments made for the shipment of 9,000,000 doses of the Abdala vaccine. The Judicial Counsel blocked the information, claiming that offering details about the process of confidentiality agreements could be taken advantage of by criminal groups.
An intensive care nurse, Vannesa Ordoñez, who denounced the use of expired Cuban doses in Coahuila, told 14ymedio that in the state of Zacatecas, 400 doses of the Pfizer vaccine, expired since November 2022, were injected into children who went to the Francisco Esparza health center.
“There is concern in health personnel because this was made known just after COFEPRIS (the Federal Commission for Protection against Health Risks) authorized the use of expired Cuban doses in Coahuila. In Zacatecas there was an anonymous complaint, which we were able to verify,” she explains. Ordoñez warned that “children are a vulnerable sector, and every medicine given to them must be made transparent. The parents are the ones who give consent, and they must be informed.”
Last January, expired doses of Pfizer were also used under the argument that they could be administered up to 12 months after the expiration date, October 31, 2022, as indicated on the bottle. On that occasion, the authorities of the state of Guerrero assured that “there was no problem” and that the drugs “served and could be administered until February” of 2023.
In September of last year, it was shown that the Government of Mexico had disposed of 5,041,050 doses of anti-covid vaccines, of which 3,409,440 were from the British AstraZeneca vaccine and 1,631,610 from the Russian Sputnik, which were in a warehouse of the Birmex company and in the National Institute of Virology.
Mexico has acquired anti-covid vaccines of different brands from several countries, such as Pfizer, Cansino, Covax, Sputnik-V, AstraZeneca, Janssen, Moderna and Abdala. According to official figures, out of 129 million Mexicans, some 90% of the country’s population has been immunized.
Despite the fact that the Abdala vaccine has been rejected by the population because it does not have the endorsement of the World Health Organization, COFEPRIS, in charge of the control of medicines, authorized the use of the Sovereign 02 and Sovereign PI doses, manufactured on the Island.
Translated by Regina Anavy
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