HAVANA, Jan. 29th. The Government of Mexico purchased almost three million new doses of the Cuban vaccine against Covid-19 Abdala, even though its inclusion in the official drug supply in that country has caused the rejection of many people and warnings from health professionals.
According to the local newspaper La Jornada, last Friday 2,851,200 doses arrived in that country, as reported by the Ministry of Health (SSA), which indicated that the shipment is intended to “reinforce the National Winter Vaccination Campaign 2023-2024 “.
The shipment of Abdala, an injectable that has been pending approval by the World Health Organization (WHO) for its commercialization and mass use for more than a year, is the first of 2024. Last October, Mexico purchased 2.8 million doses.
That country is experiencing an uptick in cases of Covid-19, influenza and other respiratory viruses. So far this year, according to the SSA Epidemiology Directorate, 390 positive cases of this disease and nine deaths from this cause have been reported.
Abdala was authorized for use in Mexico in December 2021 by the Federal Commission for the Protection against Health Risks (COFEPRIS). Although Havana announced that its injectables against Covid-19 would be a cheap solution for poor countries, at the moment only some of its political allies have partially used these vaccines.
The island’s authorities, who launched a strong international campaign for national organizations to authorize the use of these drugs in more countries, barely make any reference to them.
As for Mexico, the Ministry of Health has been facing a lawsuit since last October for the purchase and application of Abdala, presented by several opposition deputies, who denounced that the Government of Andrés Manuel López Obrador had acquired expired Cuban vaccines.
The complaint was filed with the Ministry of Public Administration (SFP) for alleged irregular handling, application, or custody of federal public resources assigned to vaccination, as well as for the application of expired vaccines.
Recently, employees of the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS) in the state of Morelos reported that the authorities are forcing them to apply expired doses of the Cuban Abdala vaccine.
The workers, who asked not to reveal their names, told the Mexican newspaper El Universal that the orientation is to discreetly apply expired vaccines in the 24 units of the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS) in Morelos, as well as in the health centers. the health of that state.
In the complaint to the SFP, a request is made to review the national vaccination strategy against COVID-19, since it would have violated the right to health protection and there are possible effects on public resources, as well as a request to review the appropriate management. of vaccines that guarantee their effectiveness, quality and safety.
In addition, the lawsuit requests that a report be submitted to the Chamber of Deputies and, where appropriate, initiate administrative liability procedures for conduct that could be crimes.
Likewise, the state of Guanajuato rejected the Cuban vaccine, because it would not protect against Covid-19 and because of the possibility of generating a serious side effect, according to the local Health Secretary, Daniel Díaz Martínez.
The official said that the only thing Guanajuato asks of the federal government is vaccines that are approved by the WHO, and he assured that he has already met with the new Undersecretary of Health, Ruy López Ridaura, to address the issue.
“We do refuse this vaccine,” declared the Guanajuato secretary in an interview, where he said that they are betting on Pfizer, Moderna, or another vaccine that is endorsed by the WHO.
“It is an issue of quality and safety and we have always prioritized that to protect the health of all Guanajuato residents. That is the reason. It is not a reason for rebellion, for not wanting to and not being able to, but rather we need scientific evidence,” said.
López Obrador received the Cuban vaccine last October, as part of the reinforcement campaign announced by his Government, and he did so in front of the cameras during his morning television program.
In Mexico, Abdala began to be applied as a reinforcement before the endorsement of COFEPRIS. Several specialists criticized the Mexican Government’s decision to purchase a vaccine that they considered “obsolete.”
At the end of December 2022, it emerged that the influx of people to the vaccination centers enabled by the Ministry of Health of Mexico City to receive doses of Abdala was poor. This, although that country was experiencing a sixth wave of COVID-19 infections.
López Obrador then defended the use of the Abdala vaccine and described the rejection of the drug as “ignorance” by sectors of his country’s conservative bloc.