MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Five more pharmaceutical companies including China’s Sinovac and U.S.-based Moderna have made COVID-19 vaccine proposals to Mexico with arrival dates as early as next month, the country’s foreign minister said on Tuesday.
The offers, which Mexico’s government sought from the companies, account for at least 141 million vaccine doses, according to data provided by Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard at the Mexican president’s regular news conference.
Ebrard said Mexican health authorities would decide which of the proposed vaccines were needed.
Mexico, with a population of around 125 million people, has already locked in some 198 million vaccine doses from other companies and the World Health Organization-backed COVAX initiative, with Pfizer’s vaccine likely to be the first used in the country.
Of the new proposals, the Sinovac vaccine would reach Mexico first, with 35 million doses proposed for delivery beginning in January of 2021.
German biotech firm CureVac proposed another 35 million doses with expected delivery beginning in April of 2021. Moderna would also deliver 39 million doses, starting the same month, according to the proposal data showed by Ebrard.
U.S. vaccine maker Novavax proposed 10 million doses beginning in June of 2021, and Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen unit would deliver 22 million vaccine doses, though the delivery date had yet to be determined.
Ebrard said at least some of the proposals would be analyzed by Mexico on Dec. 17 and that “the health sector will decide which are useful, which are not, and in what quantity.”
Mexico has approved emergency use of Pfizer’s vaccine and has a deal for 34.4. million doses expected to begin arriving in January 2021.
The Russian makers of COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V also submitted a request to carry out clinical trials in Mexico, Ebrard said on Monday.
Mexico announced a vaccine rollout plan earlier this month that prioritizes healthcare workers and the elderly to receive the first doses, with a goal to vaccinate at least 75% of the population over the age of 16 by the end of 2021.
The country has 1,255,974 confirmed coronavirus cases and 114,298 related deaths, according to government data on Monday.
(Reporting by Raul Cortes Fernandez; Writing by Cassandra Garrison; Editing by Paul Simao)