By Fatima Vargas-Lopez
Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico
The vaccine rollout has been much slower in poorer countries than it has been in the world’s wealthy countries. Mexico's vaccination efforts began in late December with members of the population who are high risk. However, vaccine distribution has slowed significantly since then.
Vaccination inequality is an imbalance in the distribution of vaccines between rich and poor countries. World Health Organisation Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has repeatedly denounced this disparity. "Nearly 900 million vaccine doses have been administered globally, but over 81% have gone to high- or upper-middle-income countries, while low-income countries have received just 0.3%," Ghebreyedus said.
Nonetheless, this issue is not the only one to blame for Mexico’s slow distribution. Delayed arrival of vaccines, scarcity of vaccination centers and the lack of good facilities in the centers that are used have all contributed to the flawed vaccination effort. Josué Bautista Arteaga, President of the Mexican Association of Pharmacovigilance, said that due to logistics failure, there is an “accumulated difference of almost 800 thousand doses that should have been applied and have not,” slowing the process even more.
As of the end of April, the goal in Mexico has been to inoculate educators for all learning levels. Not all essential and medical field workers have been vaccinated. This attempt to rush the already disorganized process has elicited backlash directed at Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador. During his daily briefings, the president has been questioned on the south border closing due to the immigration crisis. He was also asked about whether his party MORENA would use vaccines as political leverage during the upcoming elections in the country, which he firmly denied.
With only 4.9% of the eligible population vaccinated, Mexico’s race to normalcy will continue to be stalled. Many believe that the attempt to rush vaccination efforts will continue to backfire.