Mexico aims to fast track Sputnik vaccine authorization after seeing data
MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexican health authorities will quickly make a decision on whether to authorize Russia's Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine after getting access to data on it, Deputy Health Minister Hugo Lopez-Gatell said on Tuesday. Speaking at a regular government news conference, Lopez-Gatell said President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador had instructed authorities to 'proceed speedily' on the process
MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexican health authorities will quickly make a decision on whether to authorize Russia's Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine after getting access to data on it, Deputy Health Minister Hugo Lopez-Gatell said on Tuesday.
Speaking at a regular government news conference, Lopez-Gatell said President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador had instructed authorities to "proceed speedily" on the process.
"The file has been under review since the weekend by (health regulator) COFEPRIS and very soon there will be a decision regarding the authorization for emergency use, as occurred with the other two vaccines," he said.
Lopez-Gatell was speaking alongside Lopez Obrador, who hailed the Sputnik news. Lopez-Gatell, Mexico's coronavirus czar, said on Monday evening that Mexico was considering acquiring 24 million doses of Sputnik V.
Lopez-Gatell said he met with Russian officials to discuss the vaccine during a trip last week to Argentina, whose government has started rolling out Sputnik V to health workers.
Mexican officials had access to "the entire scientific and technical file" on the Russian vaccine while in Argentina, including results of its Phase III clinical trials. Previously, Mexico had difficulty getting information about Sputnik V, prompting safety concerns, Lopez-Gatell added.
"It's a vaccine that has a capacity and efficacy similar to those of the other vaccines that have been authorized," he said.
Information about Sputnik V would soon be published in a well-known international journal, he noted.
A shipment of almost 440,000 doses of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine arrived in Mexico City on Tuesday, the largest consignment yet to reach the country.
The government says could in February begin receiving its first batches of a vaccine made by Chinese company CanSino Biologics, Lopez-Gatell said.
Lopez Obrador said Mexico aimed to conclude the vaccination of health workers by the end of January.
Separately, Lopez Obrador said his government would not be reserving information on Mexico's vaccine contracts despite officials previously saying they would be withheld for five years.
(Reporting by Dave Graham and Raul Cortes; writing by Cassandra Garrison; Editing by Andrew Heavens, Alex Richardson and Giles Elgood)
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