MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexico’s health authorities will quickly conclude the approval process for Russia’s Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine, Deputy Health Minister Hugo Lopez-Gatell said on Tuesday.
Speaking at a regular government news conference, Lopez-Gatell said President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador had instructed authorities to “proceed speedily” on the process and that health regulator COFEPRIS would very soon publish its decision.
Lopez-Gatell was speaking alongside Lopez Obrador, who hailed the Sputnik news. Lopez-Gatell, Mexico’s coronavirus czar, said on Monday evening that Mexico was considering acquiring 24 million doses of Sputnik V.
The deputy minister also noted that Mexico could begin receiving its first batches of a coronavirus vaccine made by Chinese company CanSino Biologics in February.
Lopez Obrador said his government aimed to conclude the vaccination of the country’s health workers by the end of January.
Separately, Lopez Obrador said his government would not be reserving information on Mexico’s vaccine contracts despite officials previously saying they would be withheld for five years.
(Reporting by Dave Graham and Raul Cortes; Editing by Andrew Heavens, Alex Richardson and Giles Elgood for Reuters)