Mexico to begin trials of own coronavirus vaccine

Published April 14, 2021, 6:42 AM

by Agence-France-Presse

Mexico has started recruiting volunteers for the first clinical trials of its own coronavirus vaccine under development, authorities said Tuesday.

A woman is given a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine against COVID-19 at the vaccination center set up at the Campo Marte, Mexico City on April 12, 2021. (Photo by ALFREDO ESTRELLA / AFP)

The shot, called Patria, could be submitted to regulators for approval by December if the tests are successful, said Maria Elena Alvarez-Buylla, head of the National Council of Science and Technology.

Up to 100 healthy adults will be recruited in Mexico City for the initial trial of the vaccine developed by Mexican company Avimex, she said at a joint news conference with President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

Lopez Obrador said the vaccine was important to ensure that Mexico was “self-sufficient” and not at the mercy of foreign vaccine producers.

“Those who make vaccines decide whether to allow them to leave their territories or not. There are countries that have not allowed vaccines to leave and this vaccine is for Mexico and other countries,” the left-wing populist said.

The government has allocated 150 million pesos ($7.4 million) for the development of the vaccine.

Mexico’s official COVID-19 death toll of nearly 210,000 is the third highest in the world and excess death figures indicate the real number is much worse.

The country of 126 million people has applied 11.7 million doses of coronavirus vaccines so far.

It has received a total of 16.9 million doses from US drugs giant Pfizer, Britain’s AstraZeneca, China’s CanSino and Sinovac, as well as Russia’s Sputnik V shot.