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Mexico Works On International Agreements For COVID-19 Vaccines

MEXICO CITY — While the United States government continues its race against other countries to develop a coronavirus vaccine, in Mexico, authorities are following a different strategy: They are signing international agreements to guarantee enough supplies once a vaccine is developed. 

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador wants to create a state-owned company to distribute medicine throughout Mexico, including the vaccine.

His administration promises to guarantee and facilitate access to the vaccine to the 120 million people living in Mexico, in an equitable and nonprofit manner.

Mexico’s secretary of foreign affairs has established bilateral agreements with pharmaceutical companies from the U.K., China, Russia and the U.S., among others, to guarantee access to the vaccine.

This week, Mexico signed pre-purchase contracts with three pharmaceutical companies for almost 80 million doses of vaccine, expected to be available between March and August of 2021.

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.