Officials in Mexico have proudly announced the creation of their own COVID-19 vaccine, “Patria,” more than two years after the introduction of vaccines from the United States, Europe, and China. The government and the Mexican company Avimex, which previously specialised in animal vaccines, collaborated on the vaccine.
The new Patria vaccine is expected to be approved for use as a booster shot despite a decline in vaccination uptake in Mexico and an excess of the Cuban Abdala vaccine. It’s not clear, though, whether the government’s medical approval body has formally approved it.
Concerned about using a two-year-old vaccine as a booster for current strains, Dr. Fidel Alejandro Sánchez, a council member for tracking virus variants in Mexico, called it “yesterday’s newspaper.”
The Patria vaccine’s development got underway in March 2020, but testing took a while. As a result, Mexico had to import 225 million doses, mostly from Pfizer, AstraZeneca, and some Chinese producers. In September 2022, the nation also bought 9 million doses of the Abdala vaccine, which was made in Cuba and was intended to protect against more seasoned coronavirus varieties.
The goal of Cuba-supporting Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador is to make Mexico self-sufficient in a number of industries. The Patria vaccine, in the opinion of Mara Elena lvarez-Buylla, head of Mexico’s government commission for science and technology, “opens the door to recovering vaccine sovereignty.”
The official death toll in Mexico from COVID-19 is close to 334,000, but a government review of death certificates reveals that COVID-19 was listed as a cause or contributing factor in over 505,000 deaths.