The abuse of a doctor in Toluca unleashes fear of more corruption and robberies in the vaccination phase

Experts have expressed concern about the possibility that theft, acts of corruption or counterfeiting of drugs could affect the vaccination process in the country.

By Diego Delgado

Mexico City, December 30 (AP) – Mexican authorities they investigate a hospital director who broke the current regulations in the vaccination process against COVID-19 and achieved that immunize two members of your family although the drug, still very scarce in Mexico, for now it only applies to healthcare workers.

The event, which took place in the State of Mexico, generated controversy and was condemned on Wednesday by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who described it as “immoral” that the doctor used his influence to vaccinate the wrong person and said that it was necessary to “Punish this irregularity, this abuse.”

It is not clear if the doctor was among the priority list to vaccinate – which are those who work directly with those infected with the coronavirus – but his family clearly was not.

The Secretary of Health of the State of Mexico indicated in a statement that it will sanction the director of the medical center and that “it will reinforce the filter for registering candidates to receive the vaccine, in order to prevent these practices from being repeated.”

José Rogel Romero was separated from the position for facilitating the application of the COVID-19 vaccine to his family members. Photo: Crisanta Espinosa, Cuartoscuro.

Experts have expressed concern about the possibility that theft, acts of corruption or counterfeiting of drugs could affect the vaccination process in the country.

In this case, although the Army was in charge of the site, it appears that there was an error in the appointment system for applying the dose, which has to be used quickly after it is thawed.

Mexico has received about 53 thousand vaccines from the pharmaceutical Pfizer, the only drug that has authorization for massive use in the country. It plans to receive a total of 1.4 million doses until the end of January 2021, although, in addition, several parallel processes are underway to authorize and purchase other vaccines.

So far, the Government of Mexico is the one who controls the entire process that prioritizes health workers and then will immunize the general population, from the oldest to the youngest.

A health worker extracts a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at the military base in Querétaro, Mexico, on Thursday, December 24, 2020. The first batches of vaccines produced by Pfizer and its German partner, BioNTech arrived in Mexico on the day previous. Photo: Ginnette Riquelme, AP.

Given the complexity of transporting this first drug, the president commissioned the armed forces to distribute it.

The Army has had a growing role in the two years of López Obrador’s administration and, in addition to security work, it cultivates nurseries, distributes aid, manages hospitals and is in charge of building some of the largest infrastructure projects of this Government. .

At the main military base in Mexico City, Major Alicia Juana Cornelio Mateos explained on Wednesday that the people listed in a document sent to them by the civil authorities are vaccinated in that enclave. However, he assures that walk-ins come to whom they have to say no.

Cornelio Mateos considered that there is much expectation for the contingency that currently exists in Mexico City, where hospitals are already at 89 percent of their capacity. “That causes fear, it causes fear,” he said.

However, he guaranteed that the Army is acting impartially and assured that the only military personnel at the scene on Wednesday were security personnel and those who were vaccinating other health workers. “There is no preference here,” he said.

Mexico has more than 1.4 million confirmed infected and at least 124 thousand people have died from COVID-19. The capital and the State of Mexico, the region that surrounds it, concentrate more than 463 thousand cases.

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