MEXICO CITY (AP) — 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 vaccine’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 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.