Mexican Foreign Minister To Visit Russia, India, China, and U.S. To Secure Vaccines
April 8 , 2021 (EIRNS)—Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard announced on April 6 that, on instructions of the President, he is preparing visits to Moscow, New Delhi, Beijing, and Washington. The official agenda of the trips is vaccines, but in today’s global crisis, “vaccine diplomacy” can open many possibilities for broader discussions!
Ebrard said his mission is to ensure that the commitments made by vaccine producers in those countries are actually met, and, in the case of the United States, to seek greater commitments, even as the principal vaccine-producing countries are carrying out their own mass vaccination campaigns.
Mexico was the first country in Ibero-America to begin to receive vaccines, and even so, only at a rate that has allowed barely over half of its seniors to be vaccinated so far, along with health care workers. Officials are particularly concerned about vaccine supply over the next three months, as Mexico has the third-highest number of COVID deaths in the world, after only the United States and Brazil.
Ebrard made clear, this is not merely Mexico’s problem. He warned that the difficulty of getting access to vaccines “is growing. Inequality of access is also becoming more accentuated,” and further stated, “There are many countries who do not yet have access—incredible at this date.”
Ebrard reviewed the agreements Mexico has reached with each country he is visiting.
Russia: Mexico has an agreement for 25 million doses of Sputnik V, of which Mexico has so far received 900,000. He thanked Russia greatly for this, given that Russia’s vaccination program for its own people is in full-swing right now, “and despite that, they have sent us these doses.”
China: Mexico has received 8 million doses of the SinoVac vaccine, and 1 million of the 9 million doses agreed on with CanSino. (The latter is interesting: Mexico is the only country where the final stage of the CanSino vaccine bottling is being done at a Mexican plant.)
India: Mexico has received AstraZeneca vaccines from India’s Serum Institute, but Ebrard reported that the Mexican authorities are expected to imminently approve the use of Cofepris, the first vaccine designed and developed by India, something he is very happy about.
United States: The U.S. has sent 2.7 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine it is holding in storage, as promised. Ebrard said he will thank Washington for that, while observing that the U.S. is its closest neighbor, and is “moving at a good pace in their vaccination. It is important to us that they continue to support us.”
Ebrard also said that, while he is not thinking of going to Argentina, the first lots of vaccines from the AstraZeneca plant now operating in Mexico as a result of a Mexican-Argentine agreement will be available by the end of April. That initiative, he said, is expected to provide the bulk of the vaccines available in May.