Without further word from the Mexican government, we’re all left to speculate on the numerous places where the vaccination campaign in La Pimienta might have gone wrong.
At this point, it seems mostly agreed that “external contamination” means external contamination in the vial. It’s anyone’s guess how it happened but if it didn’t come from the manufacture, then something went wrong with the preservatives (e.g. there weren’t any) or the vial being damaged or improperly handled and stored– as in, a multi-dose vial being used and then stored for a longer period than is acceptable, allowing time for significant bacterial growth.
Vaccines are medical products that have to be manufactured, stored and administered safely. When any part of that goes wrong, they can be more risky. Even so, in many cases, storage and administration errors do not cause serious problems. This case is an exception, and there are a handful of other cases like this over the past few years. It is heartbreaking and it should not happen. Transparency, which the Mexican government claims they are committed to in this process, means presenting a full conclusion about where this process went wrong and committing to the prevention of similar errors in the future. I think that is the only answer here. I’m curious about whether we will hear from them again, but it is early yet.