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Mexico's president wants to be injected with AstraZeneca vaccine

Published April 09,2021

Mexico's President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has said he wants to be vaccinated with the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine.

It has been proven that the risks of the vaccine from the British-Swedish pharmaceutical company and the University of Oxford are low, the 67-year-old said on Thursday in his daily press conference. He said he was entitled to the drug because it was used in the area where he lived.

Because of a number of suspected cases of cerebral vein thromboses following the vaccination, several countries have restricted the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

In Germany, the federal and state governments have decided that the drug should only be administered to people over 60. The European Medicines Agency (EMA), however, gave an unrestricted green light for its continued use on Wednesday.

Lopez Obrador fell ill with Covid-19 in January. A few days ago, he had declared that it was not necessary for him to be vaccinated at the moment, as he had sufficient antibodies after his infection.

In addition to public health workers and some teachers, people aged 60 or older are now also vaccinated in Mexico.

Since the vaccination campaign began at Christmas, only about 10 million doses have been administered in Mexico and just under 1.5 million people - some 1 per cent of the population - have been fully vaccinated with two doses. Vaccine supplies have run low.

In the meantime, six vaccines have been given emergency approval. The United States has lent Mexico 2.7 million doses of the AstraZeneca drug, which has not yet been approved there, from its stockpile.

The North American country - the 10th most populous country in the world with about 126 million inhabitants - has the third most registered coronavirus deaths in absolute terms after the US and Brazil.

Officially, around 206,000 deaths have been confirmed there so far. Since there is very little coronavirus testing in the country the actual death toll is likely to be significantly higher with the true toll likely about 120,000 deaths higher, according to government figures.