Mexico signs deal for 34.4 million Pfizer vaccines

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Mexico said it signed an agreement Wednesday with US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer to buy 34.4 million vaccines against the coronavirus, with a first batch due to arrive this month.

The Latin American nation has reported almost 107,000 COVID-19 deaths—one of the world's highest tolls—and more than 1.1 million infections.

The health ministry announced on Twitter that it expected to receive the first 250,000 doses in December.

Priority will be given to .

The announcement came hours after Britain became the first Western nation to approve a coronavirus vaccine for general use, granting authorization to Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech.

Mexico has also announced agreements with Britain's AstraZeneca and China's CanSino Biologics to buy their vaccines, which are undergoing trials.

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said earlier that his government had set aside initial funding of 20 billion pesos (nearly $1 billion) to pay for the vaccines.

"The whole authorization process is also being simplified," he said.

The government has promised to make vaccination available to the whole country free of charge.

Mexico, together with Argentina, also has an agreement with AstraZeneca to produce its to supply to Latin American nations.

The country of nearly 129 million people has also signed up to the Covax mechanism, which is backed by the World Health Organization and aims to facilitate ' access to coronavirus vaccines.

© 2020 AFP

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