Mexico to conclude Sputnik vaccine authorization process quickly

by Reuters
Tuesday, 12 January 2021 16:13 GMT

(Updates with latest arrival of vaccines)

MEXICO CITY, Jan 12 (Reuters) - Mexican health authorities will quickly make a decision on whether to authorize Russia's Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine, Deputy Health Minister Hugo Lopez-Gatell said on Tuesday.

Speaking at a regular government news conference, Lopez-Gatell said President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador had instructed authorities to "proceed speedily" on the process.

"The file has been under review since the weekend by (health regulator) COFEPRIS and very soon there will be a decision regarding the authorization for emergency use, as occurred with the other two vaccines," he said.

Lopez-Gatell was speaking alongside Lopez Obrador, who hailed the Sputnik news. Lopez-Gatell, Mexico's coronavirus czar, said on Monday evening that Mexico was considering acquiring 24 million doses of Sputnik V.

A shipment of close to 440,000 doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine arrived in Mexico City on Tuesday, the largest consignment yet to reach the country.

The deputy minister also noted that Mexico could begin receiving its first batches of a coronavirus vaccine made by Chinese company CanSino Biologics in February.

Lopez Obrador said his government aimed to conclude the vaccination of health workers by the end of January.

Separately, Lopez Obrador said his government would not be reserving information on Mexico's vaccine contracts despite officials previously saying they would be withheld for five years. (Reporting by Dave Graham and Raul Cortes; Editing by Andrew Heavens, Alex Richardson and Giles Elgood)

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