Mexico Allows Vaccinations for All Residents Older Than 18

Mexico opened registrations for Covid-19 vaccines to the entire population over 18, an attempt to fulfill the government’s promise that all adults would have at least one dose by October.

Currently, 37% of the adult population has a shot, according to government statistics, but a rise in the number of Covid cases in recent weeks has led the country to speed up vaccine distribution. The program, which has administered 47 million doses, has kept deaths from rising at the same rate as the infections, according to Deputy Health Minister Hugo Lopez-Gatell.

“We do have new cases, but hospitalization and deaths have not increased at the same rate. They have increased in a much more controlled manner, since the vaccine is having an effect,” Lopez-Gatell said at a press briefing Tuesday.

Cases in Mexico rose by 7,989 to reach 2,549,862 Tuesday, the largest daily increase since late February, according to government data. General hospital bed occupancy was at 20% as of Monday, up a percentage point from Sunday, but well below peak levels seen in winter, according to the Health Ministry.

Adults 18 and over were already eligible in areas along the U.S.-Mexico border, as part of a push from the Mexican government to create the conditions to resume normal land crossings.

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Tuesday that Mexico currently has sufficient vaccine supply. Even so, officials have been taking measures to meet their longer-term goal. Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said that, in addition to the six vaccines already available in Mexico, the country is considering testing Italy’s ReiThera vaccine and France’s Sanofi-made vaccine.

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