Mexico approves emergency use of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) -Mexico has become the fourth country to approve emergency use of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, following authorization from health regulator Cofepris, a health official said on Friday.

“Cofepris has granted emergency authorization to the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine,” deputy health minister Hugo Lopez-Gatell told a news conference, referring to Pfizer’s German partner. “This is cause... for hope.”

Britain, Bahrain and Canada have already approved the Pfizer vaccine. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Friday was on the cusp of authorizing its emergency use.

Cofepris said in a statement that it granted authorization to Pfizer after the 24 members of its advisory committee voted unanimously in favor.

Mexico’s government has already inked an agreement with Pfizer to acquire 34.4 million doses of its vaccine, with the first batch expected to arrive this month.

Mexico on Friday registered 12,253 new confirmed cases of coronavirus infection and 693 additional fatalities, bringing the total in the country to 1,229,379 cases and 113,019 deaths.

Reporting by Daina Beth Solomon and Noe Torres; Editing by Leslie Adler and Sonya Hepinstall