Mexico gives booster shots to elderly, rules out everyone else

Mexico City, Dec 7 (EFE).- After months of opposing Covid-19 booster shots, Mexico on Tuesday began to administer third vaccine doses to people over 60 years of age, but ruled out extending them to the rest of the population.

“A few months ago they gave me the other two (shots) and today I came for my booster because I want to continue protecting myself,” Alma Verónica Báez, 65, who recently had a mastectomy due to cancer.

“I have the strength to keep going and that’s why I came,” she added.

Booster administration began in six of the 32 states of the country – Mexico City, Chiapas, Jalisco, Oaxaca, Sinaloa and Yucatán – where everyone over 60 can receive a dose of AstraZeneca.

The Mexican capital began by vaccinating the 60,000 adults over 60 who live in Tlalpan district, in the south of the city, where boosters will be given until next Sunday.

Manuel Aranda, 73, was amazed at the “magnificent response of the people,” with thousands of elderly, some in wheelchairs, who turned up to receive their extra dose.

“So many people, neighbors, were reluctant to vaccinate and bam! They left us (died). So I do think it’s worth it,” he told Efe.

The head of the government’s coronavirus response, Hugo López-Gatell, announced the start of the campaign Tuesday after months alleging a lack of scientific evidence and accusing pharmaceutical companies of wanting to profit from third doses.

The same happened with the vaccination of adolescents in Mexico, which started last month.

However, the epidemiologist stressed that the plan for now is for the elderly only, ruling out the rest of the population.

“The boosters should target the most vulnerable population groups, for example the elderly and those suffering from immunosuppressive diseases,” he said.

To set an example, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who had Covid-19 in January, received his booster dose of AstraZeneca during his morning press conference, along with five members of his cabinet.

Mexico has accumulated 3.9 million Covid-19 infections and 295,300 deaths, the fourth highest figure in the world, and has fully vaccinated 65.5 million of its 126 million population.

The booster dose campaign comes just a few days after the first case of the Omicron variant was detected in the country in a 51-year-old businessman, vaccinated with Pfizer and originally from South Africa. He voluntarily isolated himself with mild symptoms in a private hospital in the capital. EFE


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