Home Feature The intense heat in Yucatan one of the main impediments to access the coronavirus vaccine.

The intense heat in Yucatan one of the main impediments to access the coronavirus vaccine.

by Yucatan Times
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The intense heat of the state would complicate the situation of bringing some vaccines that need certain temperatures.

MERIDA Yucatán (Times Media Mexico) – The arrival of the vaccine against Covid-19 is perhaps the most anticipated event of 2020. With more than 72 million cases diagnosed on the planet and more than 1.6 million deaths, the pandemic has focused the pharmaceutical industry’s activity on searching for a “cure.” 

At the same time, world leaders, scientists, and the World Health Organization (WHO) call for the “antidote” to be accessible and safe for all. Large laboratories are applying for emergency licenses to make them available to the public as soon as possible.

Pfizer-BioNtech was the first to be approved by the FDA in the United States and Cofepris in Mexico. However, distribution and application in Latin America and the Caribbean appear complex and may not be as fast as expected in a situation like the one we are experiencing.

In the Latin America and the Caribbean region, with some 650 million inhabitants, there are large segments of the population living in poor or inaccessible urban and rural areas, and others living in places with high temperatures (as could be the case in the Yucatan), which augurs difficulties in storing biologicals that require a minus 70 degrees Celsius.

How will the coronavirus vaccine be distributed?

The WHO has pointed out three ways to obtain the vaccine in all countries: the first is through national access, with direct agreements between governments and manufacturers, with regional contracts to supply it. And the third, the global agreement, represented by Covax, the multilateral platform of the WHO, the European Union, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, to guarantee equitable access to nations. 

Within Covax, which several Latin American and Caribbean countries have joined, including Mexico and Brazil, there are 30 nations or territories without the economic capacity to purchase, and another ten that will receive them free of charge: Bolivia, Dominica, El Salvador, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, Saint Lucia and Saint Vincent and the Granadas. 

Some RNA vaccines carry a fragment of the virus’ genetic code; those must be stored and distributed at less than 70 degrees Celsius, such as Pfizer-BioNTech. That would make it impossible for people, in many cases, to go directly to the doctor and be vaccinated, so application centers with mega-freezers will have to be built, as is already being done in Germany. However, countries with fewer resources, such as many in Asia, African, and Latin American countries, become significant challenges.

In nations where economic resources or financing instruments are lacking and access to the population is complicated, concrete international solidarity gestures will be needed. According to the WHO, the organization estimates that vaccinating 20 percent of the Latin American and Caribbean population will cost more than a billion dollars. 

Several countries are planning to vaccinate their citizens free of charge starting this December. Several countries plan to vaccinate their citizens free of charge starting this December and in the first months of 2021. This has been announced by Argentina, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru, among others.

Who will get the coronavirus vaccines first? 

The priority is risk groups, health sector employees, and those over 60 years of age. With its population of almost 130 million, Mexico, is the second-most dense country in Latin America, plans to vaccinate 10 million people per month free of charge, as Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador announced. 

The federal government bought 34 million doses from PfizerBioNTech, and that company will be in charge of keeping them frozen. It also has agreements with China’s CanSino and Russia’s Gamaleya, of which it will acquire 35 and 32 million doses, respectively. Likewise, our country is within the Covax initiative, with 20 percent, 51.5 million doses through that mechanism.

Institutions in charge 

The Jenner Institute is based in the Nuffield Department of Medicine at Oxford University and operates in the Old Road Campus in Headington, Oxford. The institution also supports “senior” vaccine scientists, known as Jenner Researchers, within many other departments of the house of studies, as well as externally within the Pirbright Institute and the Animal and Plant Health Agency.

The Jenner Institute brings together researchers designing and developing numerous vaccines to generate an exceptional breadth of scientific knowledge while allowing researchers to remain independent and accountable to their sponsors and stakeholders. It is supported by the Jenner Vaccine Foundation, a registered UK charity, and advised by the Jenner Institute’s Scientific Advisory Board. The Foundation seeks to enhance philanthropic support of vaccination.

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