Argentina sending Mexico material for 4 mln AstraZeneca doses

MEXICO CITY, May 21 (Reuters) - Mexico will receive the active ingredient made in Argentina for a total of some 4 million AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine shots by the end of next week, a senior Mexican official said on Friday, shipments that should help Latin America fight the virus.

An air cargo for around 1.3 million doses that arrived in Mexico from the United States on Thursday night was the first part of the shipments of Argentine-made active ingredient for the vaccine, the official said.

The Mexican government previously said that shipment contained about 1.2 million doses. Under the deal with AstraZeneca, Argentina makes the vaccine active ingredient that is then bottled in Mexico and sent across Latin America.

The active ingredient for the remaining 2.7 million or so doses will reach Mexico between this week and next, the official said.

The first doses are now due to hit the streets next week, after delays in preparing the bottling plant in Mexico pushed back and original March deadline. (Reporting by Frank Jack Daniel; Editing by David Alire Garcia.)