MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexico has requested the USA to share doses of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine it has in inventory, a senior diplomat stated, following a request from the president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador to his counterpart Joe Biden.

Containers of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine are seen in a fridge in the course of a vaccination marketing campaign in Ronquieres, Belgium, March 15, 2021. REUTERS / Yves Herman

Deputy International Minister for Multilateral Affairs Martha Delgado stated that since the USA had not but authorized the AstraZeneca vaccine, it might be an excellent candidate to suggest to Mexico, which has already began to make use of.

“It’s doable to have entry to sure numerous AstraZeneca that they’ve,” Delgado stated in an interview with Reuters late final week, saying Mexico had made the request in diplomatic conversations since Lopez Obrador spoke to Biden on March 1.

“This vaccine is already licensed in Mexico, however has no authorization at the moment in the USA,” she stated. “They may free him.”

Lopez Obrador requested Biden for a vaccine “mortgage” on the digital assembly, after Mexico’s vaccine technique was reversed by a delay in deliveries of the vaccine developed by Pfizer Inc and its German companion BioNTech SE.

Delgado, who’s main Mexico’s diplomatic effort to acquire vaccines, stated the USA had not stated whether or not it might meet demand for AstraZeneca and different vaccines, which it stated included these of Moderna Inc and Novavax Inc. licensed in the USA.

A US official, who requested to not be named, stated the US has not accepted loans or distributions of AstraZeneca vaccines but. The particular person stated the USA shouldn’t be at present ready to share doses, however has already made a dedication to take action as soon as the availability concern is resolved nationally.

The US State Division referred the inquiries to the Mexican authorities and vaccine firms. The White Home didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark.

A senior US well being official informed Reuters on Monday that AstraZeneca’s vaccine might be cleared by US regulators in a few month.

Demand for AstraZeneca doses is notable as a result of the drug developed by the UK is the spine of Mexico’s vaccine technique, below a shared manufacturing settlement with Argentina wherein Mexico should bottling the doses for Latin America.

“ MEXICO WILL NEVER FORGET ”

Delays within the Mexican regulatory course of imply that the primary doses will now solely ship the primary week of Might, Delgado stated. Initially, Hope was a manufacturing by March, which had already fallen by April.

Delgado stated Mexican diplomats additionally needed to overcome delays within the supply of laboratory filters important for vaccine manufacturing from US drug maker Merck & Co. This case has not affected the manufacturing schedule, he stated. she declared.

Underneath the settlement with Argentina, the vaccine is produced in bulk on this South American nation and shipped to Mexico for bottling. Two shipments of 6 million doses every had been despatched in January and early February.

Final month, the Spanish newspaper El Pais reported that delays on the Mexican laboratory Liomont led the Argentine producer to divert the equal of 12.8 million doses of vaccine materials to a US bottler AstraZeneca.

Delgado stated she was not conscious of any such hijacking, including that new cargo from Argentina was resulting from arrive in Mexico “very quickly”.

A senior Argentinian authorities official denied that vaccine supplies had been despatched to the USA.

“There are not any plans to ship them elsewhere. What occurred was that the USA was not exporting sure merchandise that the Mexican laboratory wanted to finish the method, ”the official stated, requesting anonymity to talk freely.

Delays in American and European vaccines have pushed Mexico to strike offers with Russia and China.

China supplied vaccines shortly, whereas Western international locations prioritized their very own populations, leaving growing economies in a bind, Delgado stated.

She stated the state of affairs in the USA was comprehensible given the size of the pandemic there, including that China’s help might be remembered for a very long time.

“Mexico will always remember the international locations which have helped us,” she stated.

Reporting by Adriana Barrera and Frank Jack Daniel; Extra stories from Cassandra Garrison in Mexico Metropolis, Maximilian Heath in Argentina, Trevor Hunnicutt, Daphne Psaledakis and Matt Spetalnick in Washington; Enhancing by Invoice Berkrot

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