Mexico City, Mexico.- The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the Secretariat of Healthembe of Mexico City today denied the campaign against the Cuban Abdala vaccine.
The campaign apparently comes from agents intensifying a commercial promotion of Covid-19 vaccines authorized to be sold in Mexican pharmacies by the Federal Commission for Protection against Health Risks (Cofepris).
While Abdala and the Russian Sputnik V are within the government’s free program and enjoy great prestige.
Mexico City’s Secretary of Health, Olivia Lopez Arellano, stated that Abdala is a vaccine that has been tested by Cofepris, which has endorsed its potency, safety and efficacy.
They are endorsed vaccines and, in that sense, we apply them safely. We recommend that they be vaccinated against Covid with the Abdala vaccine and that they also be inoculated against influenza, since they can be administered simultaneously, he said.
For his part, Jarbas Barbosa, Director General of PAHO, made it clear that Mexico, like any other country, has regulatory health authorities capable of reviewing clinical trials, phase 1, 2 or 3, as well as verifying the quality, efficacy and safety of the candidate vaccines, whether or not they have the endorsement of the WHO.
He clarified that the World Health Organization (WHO) prequalifies the vaccines it requests, not all vaccines, only those it requests. There may be, for example, a very good vaccine in France, but the producer only wants to sell in France, and therefore does not require WHO prequalification.
He expressed that Mexico has Cofepris, which is one of the highest quality agencies, one of the eight level four authorities we have in the Latin American region. And PAHO does not recommend brands. PAHO recommends that partners use vaccines that are registered in their own country, he added.
Most importantly, PAHO considered unjustified the demand of some sectors to apply updated vaccines against Covid-19 because they are based more on commercial criteria than on public health protection policies.
Barbosa warned to be careful about what is public health and what is market, because many times vaccine producers, as (also happens with drug producers), make a lot of propaganda, even involving health professionals that the new version of the vaccine has much more protection, but it is necessary to verify and be careful, he explained.
For PAHO what we know now and there is very consistent data that the vaccines against Covid with the original strain are still very effective in preventing serious cases and deaths. So it is very important to take the vaccines that are available. That is the recommendation we make, he said.