The Federal Commission for the Protection against Health Risks (Cofepris) has given the green light this Thursday for the updated Pfizer and Moderna vaccines against covid-19 to be sold in pharmacies and authorized establishments in Mexico. Through a statement, the agency has made public that the available versions that will be on sale are Spikevax, from Moderna, and the Comirnaty vaccine, from BioNTech/Pfizer, both for the omicron variant XBB.1.5 of the virus.
The announcement was expected news and comes after the López Obrador Government announced in September that the antigen would be available in establishments before the end of the year. Cofepris warns that the supply of these biologicals can only be carried out under medical supervision and that they should never be applied indiscriminately.
To do this, pharmaceutical companies have had to pass several safety tests through the principle known as the “glass box”, in which a multidisciplinary team has determined that biologics meet quality, safety and efficacy requirements. This process allows the population to transparently know the steps to follow for the approval of a medicine. “The simultaneous ruling to issue health registration for vaccines against Covid-19, allowing their marketing in Mexico, sets a precedent towards a regulation focused on guaranteeing access without benefiting any user in particular, and eliminating any need for an intermediary or manager.”
Mexico follows in the footsteps of the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which approved the sale of these vaccines last year. The last to hit the shelves was the Moderna antigen, approved this September. The price that the vaccine can reach in Mexico is unknown. In the neighboring country, a dose in February of this year cost about 20 dollars (350 Mexican pesos).
The sale will not interfere with the Government’s vaccination campaign for those over 18 years of age that started this October 16 and seeks to immunize the population against covid-19 and influenza. Vaccines will continue to be part of the National Vaccination Policy against the SARS-CoV-2 virus, they are universal and free.
The Ministry of Health announced that the vaccines used during the campaign will be Sputnik and Abdala, of Russian and Cuban origin. Both are approved by Mexican regulatory entities, however, the World Health Organization (WHO) has rejected them due to lack of evidence demonstrating their effectiveness against new strains of the virus.
Subscribe here to the EL PAÍS México newsletter and receive all the key information on current events in this country