Mexico City, Dec 25 (IANS) Mexico has kicked off its vaccination campaign against the novel coronavirus, with a vaccine developed by US laboratory Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech.
With healthcare workers prioritized, the first person to be vaccinated on Thursday was Maria Irene Ramirez, head of nursing at the intensive care unit of the Ruben Lenero Hospital in Mexico City, the capital and one of the regions hit the worst by the pandemic, with 302,199 confirmed cases and 20,472 deaths, reports Xinhua news agency.
At the launch ceremony, Deputy Health Minister Hugo Lopez-Gatell noted that while the pandemic is not over, "with the vaccine it will be possible to combat it more effectively".
"Today, December 24, vaccination against Covid-19 begins and today the management of the pandemic changes with a light of hope," said Lopez-Gatell during the event, which was broadcast live as part of Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador's daily morning press conference.
Vaccination began a day after the first 3,000 doses arrived from Pfizer-BioNTech laboratories, the first of 1.4 million doses expected to be delivered by January 31, 2021.
Mexico currently accounts for the world's fourth highest coronavirus death toll and the 13th largest caseload.
As of Friday, the country's overall confirmed cases and deaths stood at 1,350,079 and 121,172, respectively.