Selling COVID-19 Vaccines to the Private Sector Could Accelerate Immunization

(Photo: Courtesy of the Presidency)
(Photo: Courtesy of the Presidency)

The application of the vaccine against covid-19 in private health centers would contribute to accelerate the public immunization plan of the Government of Mexico, which until now has monopolized the sector because it is a matter of “National security“Experts consulted by Efe agreed this Wednesday.

The president of the country, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, has opened the door for that to happen when the conditions are met, since so far the shortage of available vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech, the only one approved in Mexico, has only allowed the run by national governments.

If companies want to buy the vaccine and distribute it in Mexico, there is no obstacle. It will only be requested. This was already an agreement that was had, that they present their writing, their request and that they attach the contract for the purchase of the vaccine, ”the president reiterated this Wednesday, although he recalled that the Government plans to acquire enough vaccines for all Mexicans.

ACCELERATE VACCINATIONS

The Mexican government intends to have all health workers immunized when January ends and its 130 million inhabitants in March 2022, a date that private distribution could accelerate.  (Photo: Courtesy of the Presidency)
The Mexican government intends to have all health workers immunized when January ends and its 130 million inhabitants in March 2022, a date that private distribution could accelerate. (Photo: Courtesy of the Presidency)

Until now, the country has only received just over 53,000 doses of the American Pfizer vaccine, all applied to health personnel by the Executive itself.

The Mexican Government intends to have all health workers immunized by the end of January and its 130 million inhabitants in March 2022, a date that private distribution could speed up.

“That would allow us to go much faster than having to stand in a single line in the public service,” Malaquías López, an epidemiologist from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), explained to Efe.

López highlighted that “Any effort to increase the deployment and coverage of the vaccine should be welcomed”, Especially if it is“ fast ”even if it only reaches“ a population that has the ability to pay ”.

“If it were possible, it would be very good, because everyone who pays for their vaccine relieves the pressure on the public sector,” confirmed Dr. Alejandro Macías, epidemiologist and responsible for managing the influenza epidemic that Mexico faced in 2009 at the national level.

However, the distribution of vaccines in private healthcare against covid-19, which has left 1.4 million infections and almost 124,000 deaths in the country, presents some difficulties beyond the current shortage that is forcing countries to apply it in a dropper.

STILL NOT TRADED

The formulas of the US companies Pfizer and Moderna, the British AstraZeneca or the Chinese CanSino, the doctor explained, have the status of
The formulas of the US companies Pfizer and Moderna, the British AstraZeneca or the Chinese CanSino, the doctor explained, have the status of “emerging use” in countries where they can already be injected. (Photo: SEDENA)

“The problem is that at this moment there is no vaccine that has what is known in Mexico as the sanitary registry and in other countries such as the definitive sanitary authorization, because the studies are not yet completed, ”Macías recalled.

The formulas of the US companies Pfizer and Moderna, the British AstraZeneca or the Chinese CanSino, the doctor explained, have the status of “emerging use” in countries where they can already be injected.

“Which means that given the natural disaster situation, or whatever you want to call it, they are given that emerging record while they have the definitive data. By definition, this cannot be marketed yet, ”said the former person in charge of fighting influenza.

REGISTER THOSE WHO ARE VACCINATED

Control is necessary, said the UNAM epidemiologist, to prevent patients from being vaccinated twice and even to not give priority to those who have already been infected naturally.  (Photo: Courtesy of the Presidency)
Control is necessary, said the UNAM epidemiologist, to prevent patients from being vaccinated twice and even to not give priority to those who have already been infected naturally. (Photo: Courtesy of the Presidency)

Another challenge that arises, López pointed out, is to have a registry of those vaccinated “Independent of affiliation”Public or private of each person.

“There must be a very clear record of who should be vaccinated, when, where and with what, so as to guarantee that they complete the schemes and that they already have coverage,” he said.

Control is necessary, said the epidemiologist of the UNAM, to avoid that there may be patients who are vaccinated twice and even to not give priority to those who have already been naturally infected.

“What can happen, someone put it on twice or three times? Nothing happens. That is not usually a problem. The private sector generally contributes to making vaccination schedules more complete ”, reflected Macías in this regard.

DISPOSITION IN THE SECTOR

(PHOTO: GALO CAÑAS / CUARTOSCURO)
(PHOTO: GALO CAÑAS / CUARTOSCURO)

The Government of Mexico has pre-purchase contracts for 34.4 million vaccines from US Pfizer, 77.4 million from British AstraZeneca and 35 million from Chinese CanSino, but the private sector does not hide its interest in obtaining formulas against covid-19.

“As soon as there is the possibility that it can be imported, we will be there to be able to dispense to pharmacies. Our clients are very interested and receptive to the issue of the vaccine, ”the president of the National Union of Pharmacy Entrepreneurs (Unefarm), Juvenal Becerra, explained to Efe.

Becerra revealed that he has already had contacts with Pfizer, but that the US company postponed the negotiation with the private initiative until “June or July”.

EFE

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