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Mexico Negotiates Millions Of COVID-19 Vaccines From Russia

MEXICO CITY — On Sunday, the Mexican president confirmed that he contracted COVID-19. But that didn’t stop him from video calling Russia’s president the next day to negotiate the acquisition of millions of COVID vaccines. 

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador and President Vladimir Putin agreed to send 24 million doses of the Russian COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V to Mexico.

Sputnik V is one of the first registered vaccines against the coronavirus and was tested with volunteers in Mexico under the government’s blessing. Critics say Putin’s administration hasn't been fully transparent on its testings.

Mexico is currently providing the Pfizer vaccine for free and prioritizing health care workers. The government will soon also begin administering the Sputnik V, Canseco and AstraZeneca vaccines. 

AstraZeneca will produce the vaccine in Argentina and later ship it to Mexico for its bottling and distribution.

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.