Mexico is reportedly planning to carry out late stage trials for coronavirus (Covid-19) vaccines being developed by companies in the US and China.

Reuters reported Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard as saying in a news conference that Mexico has signed memorandums of understanding (MoU) with Johnson & Johnson (J&J), alongside China-based companies CanSino Biologics and Walvax Biotechnology.

According to the minister, the two countries might base some of their vaccine production in Mexico.

Ebrard noted that trials would start between September this year and January next year, subject to approval from Mexico’s food and drug agency.

He added that the goal was to secure drug access for Mexico, highlighting global ‘vaccine diplomacy’ as developing countries are struggling to get timely access to treatments and vaccines.

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Ebrard was quoted by the news agency as stating: “This is what worries President (Andres Manuel) Lopez Obrador, that we have it on time.”

CanSino and Walvax showed interest in producing an ‘eventual vaccine’ in Mexico for the Latin American market, said the foreign ministry.

J&J could produce about one billion doses of the vaccine next year, if successful.

J&J executive said that the company would consider injecting healthy participants with the novel coronavirus if there are no enough patients for the final trials.

Meanwhile, the experimental vaccine of Walvax is currently undergoing early testing at a China-based military research institute, while CanSino Biologics’ vaccine candidate is already being studied.

CanSino is also collaborating with Canada’s national research and technology organisation National Research Council (NRC) for future trials in Canada.