The Mexican Government has already paid 6,500 million pesos (more than 310 million dollars) for vaccines against COVID-19, revealed this Thursday Arturo Herrera, head of the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit (SHCP).
This amount is close to a fifth of the 32,000 million pesos (around 1,600 million dollars) that Mexico has contemplated allocating for the doses, explained the Secretary of the Treasury when sharing a message at the end of the year.
“We are very aware that the economy will not return to full potential until we have been able to leave COVID behind and this depends to a large extent on the vaccine, the speed with which we receive it and the efficiency in its application, “he said.
Herrera’s statement comes hours after the promise of the president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who assured in his morning press conference that Mexico will vaccinate “the majority” of its vulnerable population by April.
The Government of Mexico, which has not applied “authoritarian” measures such as border closures, curfews and mandatory use of face masks, opted for early access to the vaccine to contain the pandemic, which has left 125,000 deaths and 1.4 million of cases.
“If everything goes well, and we have an important challenge, this will be the most ambitious and largest vaccination campaign in the history of our countryIn a few months we will surely be able to return to a situation that is much closer to normality than we lived before, ”Herrera said.
Mexico is one of the first countries in the world to start vaccination against COVID-19, but so far he has only received about 53,000 doses of the drug from Pfizer-BioNTech, all applied to healthcare personnel.
The country has contracts for pre-purchase of 34.4 million doses of Pfizer, 77.4 million of the British AstraZeneca, 35 million of the Chinese CanSino and 34.4 million of the Covax platform of the World Health Organization (WHO).
In addition, the Government has paid 966 million pesos (about 48.3 million dollars) in medicines, the Secretary of the Treasury explained.
“We have already guaranteed to a large extent an important part of the requirements that in terms of the health sector we are going to have for next year,” he said.
The head of the SHCP, who predicts a contraction of 8% of GDP in 2020, recognized the blow that the pandemic has caused to the economy and public finances.
Even so, he presumed that the economy has already recovered 9.6 million jobs from the 13 million lost due to the crisis, between formal and informal.
“The largest resources and increases we had to make in the budget were destined to the health sector and in particular to the fight against the pandemic. We had important achievements in these difficult circumstances, we managed to maintain the credit quality in the country ”, he commented.
Mexico reports to date 1,426,094 accumulated confirmed cases and 125,807 deaths caused by coronavirus disease.
The places where the highest number of cases are registered are Mexico City, the State of Mexico, Nuevo León, Guanajuato and Jalisco.
* With information from EFE
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