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Mexico to import AstraZeneca vaccine from India, president says

MEXICO CITY, Jan 29 (Reuters) - Mexico plans to import about 870,000 doses of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine from India in February, as well as producing it locally, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Friday.

Mexico and Argentina have a deal with AstraZeneca to produce its vaccine for distribution in Latin America, with financial support from the foundation of Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim.

“We are also getting AstraZeneca vaccines, apart from the agreement we have with them - these vaccines are being made here in Mexico - we will bring AstraZeneca from India,” Lopez Obrador said in a video broadcast on social media.

Meanwhile, deliveries of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine to Mexico would “very probably” resume on Feb. 10, Lopez Obrador said, after global delivery delays by the U.S. company. Mexico was expecting about 1.5 million doses from Pfizer, he noted.

Mexico is trying to secure as much vaccine supply as possible amid delivery delays and a surge in cases. Mexico’s death toll from COVID-19 was 156,579 on Friday.

Lopez Obrador, speaking publicly for the first time since revealing on Sunday he had COVID-19, said Mexico would also receive 870,000 doses of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine in February.

Additionally, Lopez Obrador said 1.8 million vaccine doses would arrive next month through a U.N.-backed mechanism, an apparent reference to the global COVAX facility.

Mexico has secured enough vaccines to cover 20% of its 126 million people through COVAX, led by the GAVI vaccines alliance and the World Health Organization to promote equitable access.

Six million doses of the CanSino Biologics vaccine, which is due to share its clinical trial results soon, should arrive in Mexico in February, Lopez Obrador said.

It would also be “no problem” for Mexico to have 12 million doses of the Chinese vaccine in March, he added. (Reporting by Cassandra Garrison and Sharay Angulo Editing by Sonya Hepinstall)

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