Mexico becomes first Latin American country to vaccinate against COVID
Mexico became the first Latin American country to begin coronavirus vaccinations, amid a surge in cases, the New York Times reports.
Why it matters: The serum arrives as Mexico's hospitals reach a breaking point. The country tallies over 1.3 million COVID-19 cases and 120,000 deaths, per John Hopkins University data, though actual numbers are believed to be much higher.
The big picture: Authorities are prioritizing health care workers in December and January before moving to vaccinate older Mexicans most at risk.
- The first 3,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine were delivered in Mexico on Wednesday, and vaccinations began the next day; another 50,000 doses are set to arrive this month.
- Hospitals have buckled under the recent spike in cases. 85% of beds are filled according to official figures per NYT.
- Mexico City, a COVID hotspot, banned nonessential activities last week in an effort to curb the spread of the virus.
Context: Latin American countries have suffered high death counts as the pandemic ravages health care systems and ruptures economies.
- Costa Rica, Chile and Argentina are expected to begin their own vaccination campaigns this month.
What to watch: Brazil has an even higher case count than Mexico, with 7.3 million and more than 189,000 deaths. Brazil’s health regulatory agency has not yet approved any vaccine, per NYT.