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Mexico will begin COVID-19 vaccinations Thursday, the day after the country received its first batch of Pfizer BioNTech vaccines, Undersecretary of State for Health Hugo Lopez-Gatell said.

“Tomorrow (Wednesday) the first delivery of the Pfizer vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 will arrive,” he said on Twitter on Tuesday.

“There will be a press opportunity and then the vaccine will be protected until it is used on Thursday, December 24th, the day vaccinations begin,” said Lopez-Gatell.

Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard had previously announced that 1.4 million cans would arrive from Belgium of the 34.4 million cans the company has agreed to deliver.

The first vaccines are intended for frontline medical personnel and will be given in Mexico City and northern Coahuila state due to the logistics associated with the freezing temperatures required for the shots.

Mexico has also signed preliminary purchase agreements with the Sino-Canadian project CanSinoBio for 35 million cans and with the UK company AstraZeneca for 77.4 million cans.

It is also part of the international COVAX mechanism, which aims to ensure equal access for all countries, which will allow 51.6 million additional vaccines to be purchased.

Mexico has registered 119,495 deaths related to the virus and 1.33 million infections, according to official figures.

It has the fourth highest number of deaths after the US, Brazil and India and is the 15th highest number of deaths per 100,000 population.

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© 2020 AFP

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