Mexico is pressing ahead with an effort to forge COVID-19 vaccine alliances across a wide ideological spectrum of countries from France to Cuba, as a World Health Organization (WHO) vaccine initiative will fall short of its needs.
Mexico joined in early June the WHO's global COVAX plan, which aims to deliver at least 2 billion doses of approved vaccines by the end of next year and ensure equitable access.
But Martha Delgado, a Mexican deputy foreign minister whom President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador put in charge of Mexico's international response, said its share of that program was unlikely to be enough to provide the roughly 200 million vaccine doses Mexicans will need.
We can't depend on it, said Delgado. COVAX promises to help with 20%of the population - we need a bigger quantity of vaccines and so do other countries as well.
Delgado's boss, Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard, has been reporting regularly to Lopez Obrador about the latest developments in the effort to secure a vaccine - or vaccines - that will curtail Mexico's coronavirus outbreak, she said, an effort embracing all major superpowers and their allies.
Delgado said her daily schedule is packed talking to healthcare sector representatives, ambassadors, foreign ministries, laboratories and doctors.
We have chosen to do this via our diplomatic channels, get access to information and pharmaceutical companies through cooperation with other countries, Delgado said.
Why go this route? Firstly, the countries themselves are going to certify their vaccines, their safety, not the pharmaceutical companies.
And secondly because Mexico has diplomatic prestige,” said Delgado, pointing to a United Nations resolution it successfully sponsored to guarantee universal access to medicines, vaccines and medical equipment to face COVID-19.