Mexico has administered about 27.7 million doses of the covid-19 vaccine and, according to President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, all adults should receive at least one dose by October. However, several reports reveal that these were denied to health professionals working on the front lines.
According to the Guardian this Friday, citing the Pan American Health Organization, Mexico is the country in that hemisphere that more deaths recorded among health professionals during the pandemic.
One of the examples cited by the British daily is the case of Ana Sofia, a radiologist at a public hospital in Monterrey, near the Texas border, whose work puts her in close contact with patients, but who was denied the vaccine because it was not considered by superiors as a front-line worker.
During a vaccination meeting for the elderly, he asked to be given a dose of the Sinovac vaccine, which was again denied. “It was the worst thing I had to do in my life: beg for a universal right,” he said, adding that the authorities’ orders were that only the elderly should be vaccinated, putting extra doses in the trash.
Discontent in the health sector increased after the Government’s decision to vaccinate the teachers and staff public and private schools before private sector doctors. Journalists and media editors run by public schools were also vaccinated.
“This is a political decision because WHO [Organização Mundial de Saúde] I have always said that countries should give priority to health workers, ”said Mexican researcher Roselyn Lemus-Martin, pointing out that the elections on June 6 and a return to face-to-face classes in Mexico City on June 7 were the deciding factors.
Protests by health professionals were not well received by the government. The President said that these unvaccinated workers should “wait for their turn”, indicating later that the demonstrations were a media campaign against their Executive.
According to the University of Washington, in the United States (USA), the number of killed in Mexico is over 600,000 – almost three times the official number. Despite this, the country spent less than 1% of its GDP in responding to the pandemic.
The vaccination campaign was also controversial: the military distributed the vaccines, but excluded the private sector; vaccination took place in temporary centers, instead of pharmacies and clinics; early immunization occurred in rural areas with low rates of transmission, rather than overcrowded urban areas, where infections increased.
Private sector health professionals also contested claims that covid-19 cases are mostly handled in the public sector.
Taísa Pagno //