MEXICO CITY (REUTERS) - Mexico has authorised emergency use of the Chinese Sinovac and CanSino Covid-19 vaccines, Mexico's Deputy Health Minister Dr Hugo Lopez-Gatell said on Wednesday (Feb 10).
Mexico's vaccination drive has gotten off to a slow start and officials in Latin America's second-largest economy are hoping to source millions of doses from China to boost their efforts amid global vaccine shortages and delays.
Earlier in the day, China's CanSino Biologics Inc said its Covid-19 vaccine was approved in Mexico for emergency use in people 18 and older.
Dr Lopez-Gatell confirmed CanSino's approval in a news conference and added that "the emergency use authorisation has already been granted, also for Sinovac or CoronaVac".
CoronaVac is the name of the vaccine developed by China's Sinovac Biotech, widely tested in Brazil, which has ordered about 100 million doses of the vaccine.
The CoronaVac vaccine had efficacy of just over 50 per cent in the Brazilian trial, well below other choices on the market. But it is easier to store and transport, and Mexico is eager to diversify its vaccine supply.
On Monday, Pakistan said CanSino Bio's vaccine showed 65.7 per cent efficacy in preventing symptomatic cases and a 90.98 per cent success rate in stopping severe disease in an interim analysis of global trials.
Mexico is one of the countries testing the CanSino vaccine and has a supply deal with the company.
It is also being tested in Russia, Argentina and Chile, clinical trial registration data showed.
The vaccine - which was approved for use in the Chinese military last year and has since been given to at least 40,000-50,000 people - uses a modified common cold virus known as adenovirus type-5 (Ad5) to carry genetic material from the coronavirus protein into the body.