President Andrés Manuel López Obrador applied the AstraZeneca vaccine on Tuesday to stimulate vaccination against the coronavirus in Mexico, the third country in the world with the highest number of deaths and which is in a race against time to inoculate its population before a new wave of infections.
Before the television cameras and in the presence of dozens of representatives of the media, who were participating in his usual morning conference at the presidential palace, López Obrador took off his coat and sat on a chair to listen to the instructions of a military nurse that shortly after he applied the first dose of the inoculant to his left arm while the ruler said “cold head, warm heart” and acknowledged that it did not hurt.
“We are sure that there is no risk, no danger, that there are no serious reactions, that we are following up on all the studies that are being done in the world to guarantee the safety of people,” said the president when defending the British vaccine, which has been questioned in some countries due to the adverse reactions it has generated, and by encouraging people over 60 to get vaccinated.
After weeks of mixed statements about his vaccination, López Obrador, 67, received the first dose of one of the five vaccines that are being applied in Mexico.
Initially the ruler, who was infected in January with COVID-19, announced that he would not make a “show” with his vaccination and that he would wait his turn when the population over 60 years old and from the neighborhoods of the center of Mexico City received your first doses.
But days later he changed his mind claiming that he hoped to stimulate vaccination in the country, which accumulates almost 2.5 million coronavirus infections.
Mexico has suffered almost 212,500 confirmed deaths from COVID-19 but because the country performs so few tests, the authorities acknowledge that the real figure exceeds 336,000.
The number of COVID-19 cases in Mexico decreased dramatically since the last outbreak in January, but in the last week a rebound of approximately 4% has been observed.
Despite the example given by President Andrea Martínez, a street sweeper in Mexico City, she was reluctant to get vaccinated, claiming that the drug is “from a different metabolism pattern” different from that of Mexicans. “The vaccine would be fine but if they studied it well and adjusted it according to our metabolism,” he added.
Although López Obrador seeks to set an example with the vaccine, in the early stages of the pandemic he disdained the use of face masks and refused to make it mandatory, claiming that this would violate individual freedoms.
At the same time, it has consistently refused to promote more drastic confinements such as taxes in other countries, tactics that it has classified as “authoritarian.”
In Mexico, almost 14.4 million doses of vaccines against COVID-19 have been supplied, a very low record considering that the country has approximately 126 million inhabitants. Among the vaccines being applied are those from Pfizer, BioNTech, AstraZeneca, Sputnik V, Sinovac and CanSino.
The country kicked off mass vaccinations of teachers on Tuesday in hopes of reopening classrooms in the least affected states. The Gulf Coast state of Campeche became the first of Mexico’s 32 states to partially reopen schools on Monday, allowing elementary students to return to classrooms with small classes and face masks.
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.