Mexican company leaders hope to strike a deal with health authorities this week that will allow them to purchase doses of Covid-19 vaccines in addition to those the government has already ordered to administer to their staff.
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has guaranteed free, universal access to Covid vaccines, and the government has bought enough doses of the Pfizer / BioNTech shot to inoculate 125,000 people, starting with health workers in Mexico City and the Pacific state of Colima .
Company executives told the government they could support the vaccination efforts with their distribution chains and the use of their facilities as vaccination centers.
“Many companies would be more than able and willing to pay for the vaccines as well if this gave them access to additional funds they can administer to their employees,” said Patrick Devlyn, chair of the health committee of the CCE, Mexico’s largest employer. lobby.
While Mexicans would not have to pay for the vaccine, Mr. Devlyn said it was “not very productive” to keep workers at higher risk from work because of the danger of contracting Covid-19.
A resident wears a mask on a street in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico
“It would be cheaper to pay for the vaccine than to keep it in the bank,” he said, emphasizing that such a plan would be “completely voluntary”. The Pfizer / BioNTech shot costs about $ 12 per shot, he said.
Mexico City and surrounding areas, home to a quarter of the population, have reverted to the highest level of restrictions this weekend with all non-essential services shut down due to an alarming rise in hospital admissions.
Mr. Devlyn said he expected further talks with Hugo López-Gatell, undersecretary of health, and Zoé Robledo, head of the state social security institute IMSS, to work out the details on Monday.
Mexico has pre-ordered Pfizer / BioNTech, Astra Zeneca / Oxford University and CanSino vaccines and plans to roll out the vaccination in the course of 2021, depending on age.
Mr Devlyn said the government expected to purchase 30 million additional doses of vaccine by February and that the private sector could piggyback on that order with its own order, which he said could be for as many as 4 million people.