Mexico aims to vaccinate 90% of population by end of 2021

Mexico said it aimed to vaccinate 90 percent of its population against the coronavirus by the end of 2021 after signing deals Tuesday worth $1.66 billion with major pharmaceutical companies.

Together with potential vaccines from a World Health Organization-backed program, the agreements with AstraZeneca, Pfizer and CanSinoBio could enable Mexico to vaccine up to 116 million people, the government said.

The country of around 128 million has officially registered 83,945 deaths from Covid-19, the world’s fourth-highest toll.

The vaccines, which are still undergoing clinical trials, are among dozens that researchers around the world are racing to prove safe and effective.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador told a news conference that vaccination would be made available “for the entire population free of charge.”

The program could start in December with the first batches from Pfizer of the United States and CanSinoBio of China, and last one year, according to Finance Minister Arturo Herrera.

Priority will be given to medical personnel and vulnerable groups.

Mexico has also signed up to the Covax mechanism, which is backed by the WHO and aims to facilitate poor countries’ access to coronavirus vaccines. (AFP)