The Federal Commission for the Protection against Health Risks (COFEPRIS) published the call for pharmaceutical companies of the different vaccines against Covid-19 to market their products in the country in pharmacy chains, doctors’ offices and private hospitals.
The announcement comes after the number of Covid-19 cases per week increased 59 percent, while in August the number of people infected every seven days was 6,166, at this moment (week 36) it has risen to 9,801 cases, according to the latest Epidemiological Bulletin of the Ministry of Health.
Cofepris urged the population not to make an indiscriminate use of vaccines: “The risk-benefit of each application must be considered”.
Cofepris announced the beginning of the transition from Emergency Use authorizations to Health Registration for commercial use.
“This is an unprecedented regulatory process due to its technical complexity, and exemplary for the transparency that the Mexican authority will implement through the ‘glass box’ principle, with which it is possible for the population to know each step of the authorization process without compromising the regulatory definition, following international best practices,” said the Commission.
Before obtaining the sanitary registration, an indispensable requirement to commercialize any vaccine or health input, the companies will have to prove the quality, safety and efficacy of the products, which will be evaluated by an expert in biological and biotechnological drugs.
Regarding the increase in coronavirus infections, Isaac Castañeda, researcher of the Carlos Peralta Chair in Public Health of the School of Health Sciences at the Universidad Anáhuac and who follows the pandemic, said that according to the epidemiological reports of the Ministry of Health, the number of cases increased to 11,350 per week at the end of yesterday.
“This means an increase of 20 percent over the previous week’s cases. Although it is not yet such a marked upturn, we do observe changes in the behavior of the pandemic virus and trends in new cases,” explained the person who was in charge of the Anahuac Telemedicine Care Center for the last three years.
He explained that the figures speak of an increase in the number of infections, but it is still too early to say that it is a consequence of the low coverage of booster vaccinations among the population.
He pointed out that the increase in the number of people with the virus is due to the mutation of the omicron variant of SARS virus CoV2, which is the B.A.5 type that is more virulent and contagious.
“The virus is adapting to survive and that is good news, because it means that by adapting to survive it is less lethal, because in its purpose of multiplying its presence it sacrifices its lethality,” he said.
The specialist commented that vaccines are an alternative for prevention against the serious disease, but the idea that the best prevention measure is to use masks in closed spaces, to wash hands, not to self-medicate and to treat the disease early in order to help patients to face the contagion should continue to be reinforced.
He agreed that vaccination during the next winter season should prioritize those with comorbidities or high risk of exposure, such as medical personnel in the first line of care, the elderly, children, pregnant women or people with compromised immune systems.
Isaac Castañeda said that it is time for Mexico to open the debate to make it possible for Covid-19 vaccines to address the principle of accessibility and the right to health, embodied in the fourth article of the Constitution and each person can choose the type of vaccine they consider and can also acquire it in the private sector.
“In case of maintaining a prohibitionist policy, as we have been doing so far, we are only falling behind in guaranteeing a universal scheme, against the sense of the constitution.”
He assured that this prohibitionist policy promoted by the Undersecretary of Prevention and Health Promotion, Hugo López Gatel,l and backed by the President of the Republic, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, has only harmed access and damaged the right to health.
By consulting the report of the epidemiological system of the country’s hospitals, El Sol de México found that in the last five weeks the accumulated cases of people confirmed with the pandemic virus went from 575,118 to 407,627 cases. That is, 32 thousand people infected.