Mexico’s 3rd wave of Covid-19 targets middle-aged, unvaccinated

By Pedro Pablo Cortes

Mexico City, Jul 20 (EFE).- The third wave of the coronavirus pandemic in Mexico is having its greatest impact among middle-aged people and individuals who have not been vaccinated, the government said Tuesday.

Mexico detected 68,637 new infections last week, an increase of more than 36 percent over the previous week that brought the cumulative total since the start of the pandemic to 2.66 million.

Covid-19 has claimed more than 236,000 lives in Mexico, a death toll exceeded by only the United States, Brazil and India.

The median age of the newly infected is 38, while the median ago of people hospitalized for coronavirus is 50.

In the early days of the crisis, most of the fatalities were people over 60, but the median age of victims now stands at 59, the coordinator of the government’s response to the pandemic said.

“The majority of the people hospitalized for Covid at this moment are people under 52 and an enormous majority are people who weren’t vaccinated, this is 97 percent,” Deputy Health Secretary Hugo Lopez-Gatell told a press conference Tuesday.

Mexico, where 43 percent of the adult population has had at least one dose of vaccine, has “high vaccination coverage,” he said, yet only 21.5 million of the country’s 126 million residents are fully inoculated.

Even so, the government has ruled out re-imposing lockdowns despite figures showing that hospitals in Mexico City and four of the 31 states are already operating at more than 50 percent capacity.

“We have a society already long tired – fatigued – of having these long months of epidemic,” Lopez-Gatell said. “What one can ask of society in terms of reduction of mobility is not the same today as it was in February 2020.”

Foreign Secretary Marcelo Ebrard said Tuesday that he was confident Mexico will have acquired more than 80 million vaccine doses by the end of July.

He added that Mexican regulators were on the verge of granted emergency authorization to two additional vaccines, the US-developed Moderna and China’s Sinopharm.

The Pfizer/BioNTech (US-Germany), Oxford/AstraZeneca (UK-Sweden), CanSino, Sinovac (both from China), Sputnik V (Russia), Covaxin (India) and Johnson & Johnson (US) vaccines are already being administered in Mexico.

“We have one of the broadest (vaccine) portfolios in the world,” Ebrard said.

Lopez-Gatell addressed criticism that a gap of 19.5 million between the number of vaccine doses received by Mexico and the number of injections given.

He explained the discrepancy as a consequence of delayed reporting from remote areas.

“There is no lost vaccine. This type of calumny, of defamation, for what purposes I don’t know, evidently not very noble, and there is a slower process of registration (of vaccines administered),” Lopez-Gatell said. EFE ppc/dr

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