Get vaccinated! AMLO’s plan: 10,000 teams of 12 people. 280 thousand small towns. 3 million old people …

López Obrador explained that 10,000 teams of 12 people – medical personnel, local promoters who know the area and four soldiers – will be put into operation, with which it is intended to access three million elderly people from the most remote areas and then continue with the heads municipalities and cities.

MEXICO CITY (AP) – The President Andrés Manuel López Obrador indicated Tuesday that once vaccinated the highest risk health personnel will start a plan of immunization of the older adults of the more isolated areas of the country through brigades and with the support of the National Guard.

López Obrador explained that 10,000 teams of 12 people – medical personnel, local promoters who know the area and four soldiers – will be put into operation, with which it is intended to access three million elderly people from the most remote areas and then continue with the heads municipalities and cities.

The entire operation will be protected by the National Guard, added the president.

The government’s forecast is that when this brigade plan begins, the Chinese vaccine from the CanSino company will already be approved for general emergency use, because as it is a single dose, it would only be necessary to reach those remote locations once.

A healthcare worker holds his arm where he received an injection of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for COVID-19 before taking a seat in an observation area at the N-1 military base in Mexico City. Photo: Marco Ugarte, AP

So far, Mexico has authorized two drugs for general use, both with two doses: that of Pfizer, which requires lower temperatures for their conservation and of which Mexico has applied some 44 thousand doses, and the vaccine developed by the University of Oxford and the pharmaceutical AstraZeneca, which received the approval of the authorities on Monday and with which the Government hopes to speed up the process.

Vaccination began in December in Mexico City and its suburbs and in the northern state of Coahuila. On Tuesday, 53 thousand new doses arrived, also destined for those regions, but as of January 11, the process will begin in the rest of the states because weekly batches of more than 430 thousand doses of Pfizer’s vaccine will arrive.

By the end of January, if the forecasts are met, 1.4 million doses of that pharmaceutical will have arrived with which the Government expects to have immunized the 750,000 health workers who are in the highest risk jobs.

Immediately after, the brigades will begin. The procedure will be to take advantage of the census and the infrastructure where the elderly receive their pensions, 10 thousand towns where the inhabitants of 280 thousand smaller communities will go. In cases where the elderly cannot move, the brigade will vaccinate at home.

Then it will go to 2,500 municipal seats and then to the cities.

“We are going to start at the bottom, where the most marginalized people live,” López Obrador said.

In parallel, teachers will also be vaccinated in those states where it is possible to return to classes.

But official plans will depend on the availability of vaccines, and CanSino’s has not yet presented the results of its latest phase of trials necessary for its emergency use to be authorized.

Official plans will depend on whether there are vaccines. Photo: Rebecca Blackwell, AP

The Government also did not give a date for the start of use of the AstraZeneca. Chancellor Marcelo Ebrard limited himself to indicating on Tuesday that its production will begin in Mexico “very soon” to supply the country with 77.4 million doses.

So far Mexico has officially confirmed 1.45 million cases of coronavirus and more than 127 thousand deaths from COVID-19 and although hospitalizations continue to increase in many regions, the spokesman for the pandemic, Hugo López-Gatell, trusted that the pace will change when advance immunization.

“If we manage to have this vaccination prioritizing the ages, we will reduce mortality by 80 percent when we reach 20 percent coverage,” said López-Gatell.

López Obrador recalled that apart from the federal government’s efforts there are Mexican pharmaceutical companies that have already managed to buy vaccines privately. As he said, they would be provided from June or July, when the official program would theoretically have already reached everyone over 40 years of age.

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