Mexico's COVID-19 deaths average 55 years vs. 75 in Europe

Mexico's COVID-19 deaths average 55 years vs. 75 in Europe
Medical staff spray each other with disinfectant as a colleague collects a nasal swab for a rapid test, inside a COVID-19 testing and triage center that has been set up in the Central de Abastos, the capital's main market, in Mexico City, Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020.(AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

Mexico's coronavirus spokesman said Thursday the country's median age of death from COVID-19 was a shockingly young 55, as compared to an average of 75 in many European countries.

Assistant Health Secretary Hugo López-Gatell said that nonetheless, Mexico's future coronavirus vaccination program would target the oldest Mexicans first.

López-Gatell said the country's high rates of obesity, diabetes and hypertension explained Mexico's lower average age of . He said Mexico has among the highest rate of obesity in the world

López-Gatell said Mexico's approval for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine could come Friday. But he said all acquisitions of vaccines would be at the federal level, and that individual state governments could not purchase their own.

That came after one opposition-party state governor said some fellow governors were weighing acquiring vaccines on their own.

Mexico has seen a total of 1,217,126 test-confirmed coronavirus cases and 112,326 confirmed deaths, although official estimates of deaths are closer to 150,000.

Not even man's has escaped the pandemic.

Mexico's Agriculture Department confirmed Thursday a total of four dogs that had been in contact with humans infected with the coronavirus had tested positive for the virus.

None of the four Mexico City-area dogs have COVID-19 symptoms. But the department urged people who have the coronavirus to isolate themselves from their pets as a protective measure, though it added there is no indication that humans are at risk of getting infected from their dogs or cats. Infections in animals have previously been documented in other countries.

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