Mexico starts administering Russian Sputnik V vaccine

Mexico starts administering Russian Sputnik V vaccine
A medical worker injects a woman with a dose of the Russian COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V at the Palacio de los Deportes, in the Iztacalco borough of Mexico City, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

Mexican authorities administered their first shots of Russia's Sputnik V vaccine Wednesday to residents of the capital, with people lining up at a vaccination station on the city's south side, eager to get any protection they could.

"I just want to be vaccinated; I don't care what company made it," said Ismael Ávila , 72, of the southside borough of Xochimilco. "I want to make it out of this alive."

Ávila said he was satisfied with the Russian 's reported effectiveness rate of around 92%.

Some came fearing the long lines and disorder that marked the early stages of the vaccine campaign.

Berenice Alvarez, a housewife, brought her father to be vaccinated in Xochimilco, home to the city's famous floating gardens.

"I expected to see a huge number of people and a lot of disorganization, but we are learning from our mistakes, because it was more organized," said Álvarez.

Retiree Miguel Ángel Leyte Mantilla was happy to get his shot. "I thought this was going to be a mess, but the truth is, I was surprised. There was order."

Dora Arguello Hernandez, 65, noted, "I think that whatever (vaccine) it might be, it's better to get vaccinated."

Mexico received its first shipment of 200,000 doses of the Sputnik vaccine Monday, and the shots were being given first to people over 60 in poorer neighborhoods.

  • Mexico starts administering Russian Sputnik V vaccine
    Medical workers take a lunch break outside the vaccination site, as the city health department conducts a mass coronavirus vaccination campaign for Mexicans over age 60, at Palacio de los Deportes, in Mexico City, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
  • Mexico starts administering Russian Sputnik V vaccine
    A police officer pushes an elderly woman in a wheelchair to the front of the line as residents of the Iztacalco borough over age 60 wait to get shots of the Sputnik V vaccine for COVID-19 at a vaccination center set up at the Advanced School for Physical Education in Mexico City, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
  • Mexico starts administering Russian Sputnik V vaccine
    A medical worker gives a man a shot of the Russian COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V, as part of a mass vaccination campaign for Mexicans over age 60, at Palacio de los Deportes, in Mexico City, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
  • Mexico starts administering Russian Sputnik V vaccine
    A health worker is escorted by soldiers as she arrives to the Sports Center with a cooler containing doses of the Russian COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V, for a mass vaccination campaign against the new coronavirus for the elderly in the Xochimilco borough of Mexico City, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)
  • Mexico starts administering Russian Sputnik V vaccine
    A senior citizen sits under an orange tent as he waits to be inoculated with a dose of the Russian COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V, at the Sports Center in the Xochimilco borough of Mexico City, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)
  • Mexico starts administering Russian Sputnik V vaccine
    Residents of the Iztacalco borough follow a long, snaking line to receive doses of the Russian COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V, during a mass vaccination campaign for Mexicans over age 60, at the Advanced School for Physical Education, in Mexico City, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
  • Mexico starts administering Russian Sputnik V vaccine
    Lucio Bautista, 89, holds onto his right arm as he exits an orange tent in a wheelchair after he was inoculated with a dose of the Russian COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V, at the Sports Center in the Xochimilco borough of Mexico City, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)
  • Mexico starts administering Russian Sputnik V vaccine
    A medical worker injects a woman with a dose of the Russian COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V at the Palacio de los Deportes, in the Iztacalco borough of Mexico City, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
  • Mexico starts administering Russian Sputnik V vaccine
    A medical worker injects a woman with a dose of the Russian COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V at the Palacio de los Deportes, in the Iztacalco borough of Mexico City, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
  • Mexico starts administering Russian Sputnik V vaccine
    Residents over age 60 wait to be vaccinated with the Russian COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V at the Palacio de los Deportes, in the Iztacalco borough of Mexico City, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

Mexico expects to get 24 million doses of the Russian vaccine, but it is not clear when they will arrive.

The mainstay of the country's vaccine effort up to now has been over 1.5 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine, which has gone mainly to vaccinate frontline health care workers. Mexico also got some AstraZeneca doses from a plant in India and has approved two Chinese vaccines, from CanSino and Sinovac.


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