Mexico to get millions of vaccines from the U.S.

Sputnik V vaccine site in Xochimilco, Mexico.
Sputnik V vaccine site in Xochimilco, Mexico. Photo: Joseph Sorrentino/Shutterstock

The White House plans to send millions of doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to Mexico. The Joe Biden administration tries to get Mexican President Andrés Manuel Lopéz Obrador to more actively curb the flow of migrants attempting to cross the U.S. border.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Mexico should get 2.5 million shots — of tens of millions sitting idly in American manufacturing sites, as The New York Times reported last week. The vaccine still doesn’t have regulatory clearance by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, as authorities wait for results from clinical trials in the country.

The deal comes in the form of a loan, with the U.S. sending doses with the expectation that Mexico will return them later this year.

When asked if the vaccine shipments to Mexico had “strings attached,” Ms. Psaki said there are “several diplomatic conversations — parallel conversations — many layers of conversations” are at play in the discussions. “There’s rarely just one issue you’re discussing with any country at one time,” she told reporters.

The Brazilian Report showed early this week that the U.S. fears increased Chinese and Russian influence in Latin America through vaccine diplomacy. The 2020 Annual Report of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services shows how the Trump administration tried to get Brazil to ditch Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine as part of an effort to “combat malignant influences in the Americas.”

This post has been updated on March 19, 2021 (6:17 am).

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