Private sector proposes to join in on vaccination process

FILE PHOTO: A medical worker receives an injection with a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at the Regional Military Specialty Hospital in San Nicolas de los Garza, on the outskirts of Monterrey, Mexico December 29, 2020. REUTERS/Daniel Becerril

MEXICO CITY.- “The private sector can contribute to increasing the number of vaccine applications in Mexico, so it would be “absurd” not to invite them, since they have the infrastructure, logistical experience, among many other advantages that will help achieve the vaccination goals, said the president of the Business Coordinating Council (CCE), Carlos Salazar Lomelin.

Besides, many companies are interested in acquiring the vaccines to start with the vaccination of their workers. However, Salazar Lomelin explained that the agreement made by the pharmaceutical companies before the United Nations Organization (UN) indicates that the vaccines will be sold directly to the governments of the countries, which is why the private sector cannot buy them unless the authority allows it.

On whether or not there are companies that have asked for permits to import vaccines, he stated: “We don’t know anything that has been done, the laboratories have an agreement with the UN that vaccines can only be shared with national governments, so all the comments about why they don’t buy (the private sector), is because it is not possible. All this has been coordinated by the UN.” he emphasized.

The leader of the CCE said that public and private sectors can be organized to achieve vaccination goals of up to 1 million doses per day as it is being done in the United States and added: “I’m sure they will invite us, it would be absurd not to do so”. He said that on December 14 they met with the Undersecretary of the Health Secretariat, Hugo Lopez Gatell, and the Director of Social Security, Zoe Robledo, to discuss the issue, which is why he is sure that when the time comes the private sector will be invited.

Companies can contribute in three areas: distribution and logistics, vaccination, and support for financing, as some private organizations already have and have played a decisive role in supporting the arrival of vaccines to Mexico, such as the Slim Foundation and Grupo Kaluz, he explained.

In a press conference, he said: “We ask the authority to invite us, so we can sit at the tables and try to support them”.

“Every business or factory can buy the vaccines for their own workers, and maybe for their workers’ families too, and more people could be vaccinated in a shorter period of time, that is what we as businessmen offer,” the president of the Business Coordinating Council (CCE), Carlos Salazar Lomelin concluded.