Mexico is working to produce its own COVID-19 vaccines and could have one ready by next spring, according to a researcher coordinating local efforts amid a global race to tame a disease that has infected over 26.75 million people worldwide.
Esther Orozco, coordinator of the scientific group that represents Mexico at the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, said research based on a virus that transmits the avian Newcastle disease is the most viable candidate to produce the first vaccine in Mexico.
Orozco said the vaccine, developed by the private firm Laboratorio Avimex with researchers from Mexico’s main public university, UNAM, and the Mexican Social Security Institute, is ready to start the first phase of testing with humans.
“They are advanced,” Orozco said. “I think it’s going to be ready by spring or the start of summer.”
Orozco said the Mexican vaccine will arrive “later” than leading foreign candidates. But she noted that 7.5 billion people on the planet will need to be inoculated, and the number of vaccines may be double that figure if two doses are needed.