Mexico's long delay of vaccines for Latin America nears end

Mexico’s top diplomat says shipments of a long-delayed lot of AstraZeneca vaccines will finally be sent to Argentina

Virus Outbreak Argentina Mexico
Virus Outbreak Argentina Mexico

Mexico’s top diplomat said Tuesday that shipments of a long-delayed lot of AstraZeneca vaccines will finally be sent to Argentina this weekend.

Foreign Relations Secretary Marcelo Ebrard said about 800,000 doses will be flown to Argentina. Mexico will get a similar amount, and he expressed hopes that later shipments can be sent to other Latin American countries.

The effort to fill and finish the vaccines at a Mexican plant took almost three months longer than originally expected.

Ebrard acknowledged Tuesday it had been “a long, complex, hazardous process," adding “we now finally, at last have this vaccine available.”

The vaccines were produced in bulk in Argentina and sent to Mexico for bottling. But the Mexican plant ran into problems, in part because it had difficulties in obtaining specialized filters.

The delay forced Argentina to look for another plant in the United States to perform the fill and finish operation. The first 843,000 doses from the U.S. plant arrived in Argentina on Monday.

Mexico, Argentina and other countries in Latin America were expecting millions of doses to start flowing in March, but probably won’t be able to start using them until June.

Previously, the Liomont plant in Mexico had problems getting in special filters and other equipment.

“They have fought a lot to obtain filters, inspection stations. They brought in very advanced equipment. That took time to be able to get them working,” Ebrard said during a visit to the plant. The project is supported by a foundation run by business magnate Carlos Slim.

In February, Mexican officials had said they expected to get 10 million AstraZeneca doses in March, 15.7 million in April and the same number in May, for a total of 41.1 million shots. Instead, as of Tuesday, Mexico had received only about 6.8 million AstraZeneca doses from abroad.

Mexico already bottles the Chinese-developed CanSino vaccine at another plant, a process that went off with fewer hitches.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in