Delivery delays force Mexico to put off Sinovac second doses

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexican authorities said Thursday that delays in the delivery of 1.5 million doses of the Chinese Sinovac vaccine will mean that almost 1.3 million Mexicans won’t get their second doses on time.

The Health Department said delaying the second shot beyond the recommended 35-day interval between the two doses will not affect the effectiveness of the vaccine.

Almost 1 million people will need their second dose by the first week of May; almost 300,000 more will need it in the weeks after.

The department did not say when the delayed doses are expected to arrive, but said it was in talks with Sinovac to get the shipment “as soon as possible.”

The department did not give a reason for the delay. Mexico has so far administered 17.3 million doses of five different vaccines.

Mexico has also suffered significantly delays in its own efforts to bottle doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine exported in bulk from a plant in Argentina.

There have been almost 216,500 test-confirmed deaths related to COVID-19, but Mexico does so little testing that many people die without having been tested.

A preliminary government review of death certificates suggested excess deaths attributable to COVID-19 reached now stand at over 346,500.

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