Foreign Relations Secretary Marcelo Ebrard said the Mexican government has signed agreements for 12 million doses of the yet-to-be-approved Sinopharm vaccine and “increased to a total of 20 million doses its contracts for the Coronavac dose made by China’s Sinovac,” according to the LA Times. However, Ebrard has continued to refuse to answer any question on the vaccine’s efficacy.
Sinopharm has said its vaccine is 79% effective based on interim data from clinical trials (which according to the LA Times, was kept a secret), but like other Chinese firms, it has not publicly released its late-stage clinical trial data. Experts in Hong Kong have assessed the efficacy of the Sinovac vaccine at about 51%. That shot has already been approved for use in Mexico.
The deliveries of the Sinovac vaccine have already begun with the full order expected to be completed by July. The Sinopharm vaccines are expected to be delivered between March and April.
A total of six vaccines have been approved for use in Mexico, which has received relatively small amounts of each. Mexico has administered only about 4.7 million doses of all vaccines, a tiny amount given the country’s population of 126 million.
The vaccine policy and rollout have set up an unequal and confusing situation in which some Mexicans living mainly in urban areas, will receive the Pfizer vaccine, which has around 95% efficacy, while most others in the country will get one of the Chinese-made vaccines with a much lower effectiveness. Mexico has contracts for a total of about 34 million doses of the Pfizer shot, but deliveries have been slow, with less than a tenth of that amount delivered so far.