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Cablegate: Mexico Seeks to Coordinate H1n1 Vaccine

VZCZCXRO6427
RR RUEHCD RUEHGD RUEHHO RUEHMC RUEHNG RUEHNL RUEHRD RUEHRS RUEHTM
DE RUEHME #3044 2942150
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 212150Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY MEXICO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 8697
RUEAUSA/DEPT OF HHS WASHINGTON DC
RUEHRC/DEPT OF AGRICULTURE WASHINGTON DC
INFO RUEHXC/ALL US CONSULATES IN MEXICO COLLECTIVE
RUEHOT/AMEMBASSY OTTAWA 2658

UNCLAS MEXICO 003044

SENSITIVE, SIPDIS

STATE FOR WHA/MEX
STATE FOR OES/IHB
STATE FOR DS/IP/WHA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: CASC EAID MX
SUBJECT: Mexico Seeks to Coordinate H1N1 Vaccine
Deliveries

SUMMARY
-------

1. This is an action request.

2. (SBU) Summary: Secretary of Health Jose Angel
Cordova Villalobos requested a meeting with the
Ambassador on October 16 to ask that the United
States consider coordinating with Mexico on the
delivery of 5 million doses of H1N1 vaccine from the
United States. Cordova said that the Mexico has
purchased 20 million doses from Sanofi-Aventis.
Delivery will not be until the end of December, too
late to help for the H1N1 flu season. He said that
Sanofi-Aventis has indicated that it cannot provide
supplies any sooner because its supplies are going
to the United States. Cordova would like the U.S.
to consider whether the U.S. would allow Sanofi-
Aventis to accelerate the delivery of 5 million
doses out of the total that Mexico has purchased, so
that it can be used with strategic at-risk groups
such as health care providers who could reduce the
risk of contagion both within Mexico and potentially
the United States. Cordova is not asking for
financing or a loan. His argument is that
coordinating a first round of vaccinations between
the United States and Mexico to vaccinate potential
multipliers of infections might have the best net
impact in Mexico and the United States when there
are net shortages in both countries. Embassy Mexico
requests guidance. End Summary.

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3. (SBU) Vaccine orders placed by the Government of
Mexico are running behind schedule. Cordova has
focused his attention on getting enough vaccine
early to vaccinate at-risk groups, such as health
care workers and pregnant women. The GOM's
inability to protect health care workers from H1N1
could have a multiplying effect upon the rate of
influenza infection in the Mexican population, a
trend that could potentially cross the border.
Cordova has written to HHS Secretary Sibelius to
request her assistance. Post understands that HHS
will provide a written response to Cordova's
request. Ambassador noted that the U.S. also faces
internal shortages and delays.

4. (SBU) Comment and action request: On the
surface, Cordova's request has a compelling logic:
with transnational diseases, the best interventions
up front may be to protect those who could be
multipliers of the spread of the disease. Embassy
Mexico does not have the expertise to judge the
technical merits of Cordova's request. It is
important to underscore that he is not asking for a
loan or a donation. Rather, he is asking that the
United States and Mexico coordinate on the phased
delivery of vaccine to cover the "key multipliers"
first, and that this will produce the best net
impact for both of our populations. Embassy Mexico
requests that the Department consult with HHS and
advise how best to advise Cordova, who is genuinely
trying to manage a difficult situation of shortages
and delays, especially as the media in Mexico report
on the arrival of vaccines in other countries.

PASCUAL

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