Close the deal, lives need to be saved!
Regardless of the investment, the tycoon was rushing his negotiators with AstraZeneca and the federal government to start production of the vaccine as soon as possible, according to his spokesman Arturo Elías Ayub.
Saving as many lives as possible is the only interest of Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim with the Covid-19 vaccine that his foundation negotiated with the pharmaceutical AstraZeneca, his spokesman Arturo Elías Ayub assured this Thursday.
“What the engineer (Carlos Slim) told us during the negotiation was: ‘ hurry up and close the deal, do it now, ‘ said Elías Ayub in an interview with Efe.
“Hey, but it costs so much (amount of money) and he would repeat: ‘make the deal, close it and the only thing that mattered to him in this negotiation was time because what he wants is to save, as soon as possible, as much of possible lives, that is the only thing that worries him and what has interested him in this process ”, he added.
Precisely, the deal with AstraZeneca in which Slim’s team participated was considered “a different negotiation,” said Elías Ayub, his son-in-law, used to big business in the telecommunications sector.
” Here you cannot negotiate with people’s lives, you cannot negotiate with health, so what we tried, more than closing a good deal, which I think was a great deal for both parties, was to do it as quickly as possible”, he recounted.
The businessman said that the objective was to close the deal as soon as possible so that the “manufacturing” of the vaccine would begin quickly and “for it to be delivered” in the shortest time.
In the presence of an agreement with the president of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, it was reported that the Mexican industry could start the production of the Covid-19 vaccine in the first quarter of 2021.
The also director of strategic alliances of América Móvil recalled that the Slim Foundation does not guarantee the vaccine. ” We guarantee that production starts ahead of time to bring it to Latin America .”
“We are economically guaranteeing, with AstraZeneca, that production begins so that when the vaccine is approved we are well advanced in time and not have to wait ten months to one more year for the vaccine to arrive in Mexico,” he said.
Elías Ayub, also director of the Telmex Foundation, said that what they have specified is to advance the money to buy the supplies, materials, machinery “that is needed to manufacture the vaccine with the technology of AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford.
In addition, he said that the foundation has assumed the risk that if the vaccine is not approved, which for now is in Phase 3, “we would lose that advance.”
He ruled out talking about the investment amounts in the vaccine “because it will depend on the advances of all the governments of Latin America, which will also enter the risk.”
But he explained that there will be a minimum of 150 million doses up to 250 million “if there is demand” and that each dose is estimated to cost around 4 dollars.
On Wednesday, AstraZeneca signed an agreement with the Carlos Slim Foundation to contribute to the production in Argentina and Mexico and the distribution without economic benefit in Latin America, of the potential vaccine against Covid-19, AZD1222, during the pandemic.
This agreement will initially provide 150 million doses in the region excluding Brazil, which will be covered by AstraZeneca’s agreement with the Brazilian government announced last June.
Shipments are expected to begin in the first half of 2021, should clinical trials prove successful.