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Mexico Plans To Produce COVID-19 Vaccine And Make It Free

Doctors from a military hospital in Mexico train as they prepare for an eventual larger outbreak of the coronavirus.
Office of the Mexican Presidency
Doctors from a military hospital in Mexico train as they prepare for an eventual larger outbreak of the coronavirus.

MEXICO CITY — Mexico has joined the list of nations that plan to launch a COVID-19 vaccine soon. And the country’s government not only plans to produce it, but also to make it free.

Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said a state-owned Mexican lab will co-produce the vaccine with the Argentinian government, the private lab Astra Zeneca and Oxford University. 

The president said all Mexicans will have access to it, starting with the poorest. He said it’s the constitutional right of the people to be healthy.

The Mexican government will fund the production, along with the foundation led by Mexican multimillionaire Carlos Slim. It will cost no more than $1.5 billion.

Mexico’s government says the vaccine is already showing positive results during its testing. The production is expected to start in November, to make it available by the beginning of 2021.

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Rodrigo Cervantes is KJZZ’s bureau chief in Mexico City, where he was born and raised. He has served as opinion writer, contributor and commentator for several media outlets and organizations in Mexico and the United States, including CNN, Georgia Public Broadcasting and Univisión. Cervantes previously worked as the business editor and editorial coordinator for El Norte, the leading newspaper in Monterrey and a publication of Grupo Reforma, Mexico’s premier news group. In Mexico City, Cervantes served in Reforma as a reporter, special correspondent, editor and special sections coordinator. Cervantes also held the editor position at MundoHispánico, a division of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Georgia’s oldest and largest Latino newspaper. He also participated as one of the first members of the Diversity Advisory Group for Cox Media. In 2012, Cervantes was appointed as fellow for the Leadership Program of The New York Times/Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard, as well as for the "Líderes Digitales" program from the International Center for Journalists. In 2010, he was awarded with the Poynter-McCormick Leadership Fellowship. Cervantes graduated with honors in communication sciences and journalism from the Instituto Tecnológico de Monterrey (ITESM), Mexico City Campus. Later, he was granted the Fundación Carolina Scholarship from the Spanish government to obtain an MBA degree at San Pablo-CEU School of Business (Madrid). Other awards include: the Power 30 Under 30 Award for Professional and Community Excellence in Atlanta, the Outstanding Alumni Medal from ITESM, and several José Martí Awards for Journalism Excellence from the National Association of Hispanic Publications (NAHP). Cervantes enjoys music, books, travel, friendship, good mezcal and the occasional company of his guitar.