Mexico to receive 1.75 million Moderna COVID-19 vaccines from U.S.

An employee shows the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at Northwell Health's Long Island Jewish Valley Stream hospital in New York, U.S., December 21, 2020. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz/File Photo

MEXICO CITY, Aug 18 (Reuters) - Mexico is set to receive the first batch of 1.75 million doses of Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine from the United States at the weekend, Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said on Wednesday, shortly after Mexico authorized its emergency use.

The Mexican government last week said that U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris had promised to send 3.5 million Moderna and 5 million AstraZeneca vaccines. read more

Mexican health regulator Cofepris on Wednesday said it had authorized the two-shot vaccine from Moderna Inc (MRNA.O) for emergency use.

Ebrard wrote on Twitter that the doses would arrive at the weekend and "In a month, the second dose will arrive (another 1,750,000). Our sincere gratitude!"

Mexico has vaccinated at least 42% of its population of 126 million people with a first dose, official data shows. But the Delta variant is sweeping through the country and vaccine hesitancy is rising in younger people.

On Wednesday, Mexico posted a record 28,953 new confirmed cases of coronavirus infections, bringing the total number to 3,152,205.

The figure is the highest daily total since the pandemic began nearly 18 months ago, excluding statistical blips that heath authorities said were caused by one-off adjustments to back data.

But the Mexican health ministry has previously said the real numbers are likely significantly higher.

COVID-19 booster shots will be made widely available to Americans starting Sept. 20, U.S. health officials said, citing data showing diminishing protection from the initial vaccinations as infections rise from the Delta variant.

World Health Organization (WHO) officials have said vaccine doses should first go to people in poorer countries who have yet to receive an initial inoculation.

Reporting by Sharay Angulo Additional reporting by Diego Ore Writing by Stefanie Eschenbacher Editing by Grant McCool

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