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Infographic | Mexico's Vaccine Supply and Distribution Efforts

As of September 28, 2021, Mexico has managed to vaccinate upwards 70% of its adult population (or 49% of its total population) despite delayed arrivals of vaccines and issues with vaccine supply chains. While Mexico has donated vaccines to Belize, Bolivia, Paraguay, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Jamaica, and Guatemala, the United States has been the only country to donate COVID-19 vaccines to the nation. In this infographic, the Mexico Institute explores COVID-19 vaccine supply and distribution efforts.

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As of September 28, 2021, Mexico has managed to vaccinate upwards 70% of its adult population (or 49% of its total population). Additionally, the campaign to vaccinate children with chronic illnesses ages 12 to 17 kicks off in October.

Geographical Disparities

While the Mexican government has made great strides in distributing the available doses, underlying geographic disparities are notable. Northern states have vaccinated greater proportions of their populations relative to southern states, which generally tend to have weaker state capacity. The states with the highest rates of vaccination are largely concentrated in the north, where there are important hubs for North America’s supply chains, and in the Yucatán Peninsula, where tourism contributes significantly to the local economy. Mexico’s south and southwest lags behind in terms of vaccination, as well as in terms of state capacity, economic development, and civilian security. The government’s inability to vaccinate these states as efficiently as their more lucrative counterparts may exacerbate regional inequalities, especially as droves of migrants arrive at Mexico’s southern border and prepare for the trek northward.

Vaccine Supply Chains

Mexico contracted 244 million vaccines from COVAX, AstraZeneca, Pfizer/BioNTech, CanSinoBIO, SinoPharm, and the Gamaleya Center (which produces the Sputnik V vaccine). Yet, it has only received 116 million of those doses, showcasing weaknesses in global vaccine production and supply levels. Particularly, Mexico contracted 51 million doses through the COVAX program as early as February 2021 yet has only received 4.3 million of those.

Mexico has also set up production lines in Querétaro and the México State to bottle doses of the AstraZeneca and CanSino vaccines, completing the production process in-country. Mexico has received a total of 33,776,862 doses, 16% of which are from CanSino and 84% from AstraZeneca.

Vaccine Diplomacy

Mexico has donated vaccines to more countries than have donated to Mexico. Mexico sent humble shipments in the hundred-thousands to Belize, Bolivia, Paraguay, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Jamaica, and Guatemala. In total, Mexico has donated 1 million doses – all of the AstraZeneca vaccine – to friends in the region.

Meanwhile, only the United States has donated vaccines to Mexico. The U.S. has delivered 7.6 million doses of the 8.5 million total that it pledged. While the FDA has not approved the AstraZeneca vaccine for use in the U.S., that vaccine comprises 36% of the donations that have arrived in Mexico. The Moderna vaccine comprises 46% of donations and the Johnson&Johnson, 18%.

Delayed Arrivals

Mexicans waited longer to receive their jabs than did their neighbors to the north, as vaccines were slow to arrive and slow to enter Mexican arms in the first half of 2021. However, the tides turned in late June, as shipments began to arrive more regularly and production lines in México State and Querétaro quickened, increasing the number of doses available and facilitating distribution.

For more on “vaccine diplomacy” in Latin America and its role in great power competition, visit the Latin America Program's new portal.

Mexico Institute

The Mexico Institute seeks to improve understanding, communication, and cooperation between Mexico and the United States by promoting original research, encouraging public discussion, and proposing policy options for enhancing the bilateral relationship. A binational Advisory Board, chaired by Luis Téllez and Earl Anthony Wayne, oversees the work of the Mexico Institute.   Read more