Mexico begins giving the first injections of the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine

MEXICO (AP) – An intensive care nurse in Mexico City became the first person in Latin America to receive an approved coronavirus vaccine.

Mexico began giving the first 3,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine at a broadcast ceremony in which Maria Irene Ramirez, 59, received the first bullet under the watchful eye of military personnel accompanying the vaccine shipment.

“This is the best gift I could get in 2020,” Ramirez said. “It’s true that we’re afraid, but we have to keep going, because someone has to be in the front line of battle.”

Assistant Health Minister Hugo López-Gatell poetized, saying: “Today, the epidemic phase and its treatment is changing into a glimmer of hope.”

Zoé Robledo, director of the Mexican social security system, called it “a Christmas that is forgotten. We are sure that this will be the beginning of the end of the pandemic. “

Other medical personnel also began firing in the cities of Toluca and Queretaro.

Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said Mexico was the first country in Latin America to receive the vaccine, although others lagged behind.

Chile said it received 10,000 doses on Thursday, and Argentina, which encountered problems getting the Pfizer vaccine, was given a flight carrying 300,000 doses of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine, although it cannot yet be given to people over 60 due to a lack of test data.

Although Mexico only received 3,000 doses in the first shipment on Wednesday, Ebrard said another 53,000 doses would arrive by Tuesday, about 1.4 million doses in January and a total of about 11.75 million by mid-year.

Ebrard said two vaccines are currently undergoing phase 3 studies in Mexico, and three more are awaiting approval to begin.

Other countries in the region are involved in testing several vaccines, in studies involving tens of thousands of volunteers from across the region.