Mexico made a big bet on Chinese vaccines on Tuesday, without disclosing any information about their efficacy.
Mexican Foreign Relations Secretary Marcelo Ebrard announced that the Mexican government has concluded agreements for 12 million doses of the yet-to-be-approved Sinopharm vaccine and has expanded its contracts for Sinovac’s Coronavac vaccine to a total of 20 million doses.
Sinovac is already being delivered, with the maximum 20 million doses anticipated by July. Between March and June, Sinopharm vaccines will be delivered.
The limit of 32 million doses, plus at least 4 million doses of the CanSino vaccine, will overshadow Mexico’s approximate 5 million vaccine doses obtained from other sources so far.
Ebrard’s office, on the other hand, has consistently declined to answer questions about the Chinese shots’ efficacy.
Sinopharm has indicated that its vaccine is 79 percent effective based on interim results from clinical trials, but it, like other Chinese companies, has not publicly released data from late-stage clinical trials.
Experts in Hong Kong estimated the Sinovac vaccine’s efficacy to be about 51%. In Mexico, the shot has already been licensed for use.
The CanSino vaccine has been approved in Mexico and is said to have a 65.7 percent efficacy rate.
Mexico has obtained relatively limited doses of each of the six vaccines that have been approved for use. Mexico has only given out about 4.7 million doses of all vaccinations, a negligible number given the country’s 126 million people.
The government policy creates an unusual situation in which certain Mexicans, mostly in metropolitan areas, will receive the Pfizer vaccine, which has a 95% efficacy rate, while the majority will receive one of the Chinese vaccines, which has a much lower efficacy rate. Mexico has contracts for around 34 million Pfizer shot doses, but deliveries have been sluggish, with less than a tenth of that amount shipped so far.
Despite a scarcity of public data on China’s vaccines, concerns about their effectiveness and safety remain widespread in the countries that depend on them.
In more than 25 countries, vaccinations with Chinese vaccines have already started. None of the three vaccine candidates developed in China that have been tested in late-stage clinical trials have been made public.
Nearly 190,100 deaths have been reported in Mexico. Mexico, on the other hand, conducts so little research that government excess-death estimates say the actual toll was much higher than 220,000 at the start of January, when the government stopped disclosing that information. About 2.1 million cases have been confirmed by testing.