Mexico says its COVID-19 vaccine is finally ready
After more than two years of testing, Mexico is rolling out a COVID-19 vaccine.
María Elena Álvarez-Buylla, head of Mexico’s science and technology council, announced this week that the vaccine, known as Patria, is ready for use.
A final phase of testing showed that Patria is effective as a booster against COVID-19 and meets World Health Organization standards, she said. Mexico expects to have infrastructure in place to produce as many as 4 million doses by the end of the year and at a cost 88% lower than other vaccines, she added.
Mexico’s health authority now needs to give emergency authorization for use of the vaccine — which was developed in partnership with veterinary pharmaceutical firm Avimex
However, two years after other countries rolled out their COVID-19 vaccines, uptake in Mexico has fallen, and the country has millions of unused doses of the Cuban vaccine Abdala.
The news came shortly before the WHO downgraded the COVID-19 pandemic. The agency said Friday that COVID-19 no longer qualifies as a global emergency. WHO first declared COVID-19 to be an emergency more than three years ago.
The U.S. also announced this week that it is lifting its vaccine requirements for international air travelers on May 11.