Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Monday that he would be among the first to receive a Russian coronavirus vaccine if it is shown to be effective.
Russia’s announcement last week that it was the first in the world to approve a coronavirus vaccine was met with caution from Western scientists who said it still needed to be proved safe and effective.
“I would be the first to get vaccinated, because it matters a lot to me, but we have to … ensure that it’s something effective and that it’s available to everyone,” Lopez Obrador said at his daily news conference.
The Mexican leader added that he would personally reach out to Russia or China if they are first to develop an effective vaccine.
“In this important matter, there should be no ideologies… health comes first,” he said.
The Latin American country has recorded more than 56,000 coronavirus deaths – the world’s third-highest toll – and over half a million infections.
Mexico announced a deal last week with British-Swedish pharmaceuticals giant AstraZeneca to manufacture its vaccine now under development if clinical trials show it to be effective.
Mexico bus crash: 16 killed and more injured in bus crash near US border
A bus crash in Mexico left 16 people dead and 14 more injured as two vehicles collided while transporting workers at a gold mine about 150 miles south of the US border, according to reports.
The Sonora Attorney General’s Office said the two busses crashed head-on near the entrance to the Noche Buena Mine in the early hours of Tuesday morning, The Arizona Republic reported.
The 14 injured from the larger bus were taken to the nearby city of Caborca for treatment of major bruises and fractures, while all 16 travelling on a smaller bus died at the scene.
The mine said in a news release the two busses were used to transport workers to the mine, while the attorney general’s office was quoted as saying everyone in the crash was from Mexico.
Reports in Mexican newspaper Reforma, meanwhile, said the 16 killed passengers were travelling on a tourist van from Transportes Ejectivos Premier.
Mining company Minera Penmont said its 13 injured workers were in a stable condition while the driver was critical.
“As soon as the accident was known the emergency services were notified. Minera Penmont profoundly regrets this unfortunate accident and is in constant communication with local authorities to facilitate investigations” the company said in a release, via Mexico News Daily.