Widespread distribution of ivermectin proves effective in Mexico against COVID-19

Widespread distribution of ivermectin proves effective in Mexico against COVID-19

Note that views expressed in this opinion article are the writer’s personal views and not necessarily those of TrialSite.

One country that has had remarkable success in the war against the COVID pandemic, but has received little to no global media coverage, is Mexico. Like the rest of the world, COVID cases in Mexico exploded in April 2020, the first hot spots flaring up along the northern border with the United States, in Mexico City and Quintana Roo, a popular tourist destination in the Caribbean. At the beginning of the pandemic, Mexico took recommendations and followed protocol set forth by the World Health Organization (WHO) and watched the virus spread from state to state, engulfing the entire country.

First COVID Outbreak in Mexico

On June 10, the Spanish-speaking media began reporting on the success that Peru was having in controlling the virus using ivermectin as a treatment. Mexico was in the middle of its worst peak of cases and deaths with records breaking daily, and interest in the drug – as well as sales – rose dramatically.

On June 20, the pan-American WHO (OPS/OMS) issued a statement strongly opposing the use of ivermectin. Additionally, other media sources started publishing anti-ivermectin articles all over Mexico. And as the number of deaths slowly decreased, interest in ivermectin subsequently died down. 

Google trends. Google seaches in Mexico about iveremctin

In October 2020, cases in Mexico began spiking again; the outbreak this time started in Chihuahua, the state on the border of Texas. Texas was also experiencing an outbreak at this time, so it’s likely that the cases in Mexico were sparked in the US. From Chihuahua, cases spread south and into Mexico City igniting the worst outbreak yet. Mexico City was an inferno of COVID cases and death, and health workers rushed to the capital city from all over the country to help.

Determined to stop the spread at any cost, Mexico City officials held a meeting at the end of December, 2020, and invited the Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social (IMSS) among other groups of doctors. Together, they decided to begin distribution of ivermectin kits in Mexico City and Mexico State to anyone who tested positive for COVID and wanted to take the drug, and to closely monitor hospitalizations to keep tabs on ivermectin’s efficacy. The kits distributed included ivermectin, aspirin and paracetamol. Between the end of November 2020 and the end of January 2021, more than 200,000 people tested positive for COVID, and of these, nearly 80,000 used the ivermectin kits. Results showed up to 76% reduction in hospitalization in the group that was taking ivermectin. 


On January 22, 2021, the mayor of Mexico City, Claudia Scheinbaum, held a live televised press conference where she talked about the positive results from the ivermectin distribution from December. Following the press release, the kits were made available for everyone in the whole of Mexico, and nation-wide results of ivermectin use were monitored. Amazingly, after mass distribution of ivermectin, every single COVID indicator in Mexico improved. Over the course of 18 weeks, COVID cases, hospitalizations, and deaths continuously dropped, and on May 14, the mayor held another televised press conference sharing the positive results of the months’-long campaign.

What is astonishing, however, is that the media outlets in Mexico have not reported on this astounding result. They continued to report on the number of excess deaths from before the ivermectin intervention – and not one has covered the current situation of declining cases and deaths due to wide-spread ivermectin intervention. 

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  1. While I am glad that Mexico has come around to supporting ivermectin, this article fails to mention that Chiapas, the southernmost state in Mexico, has been using and distributing ivermectin since July 2020. Prior to that, the case rate and death rate in Chiapas was on par with the rest of the country. After use began, case rates and death rates dropped to very low levels, and continue to be at very low levels. This is visible on the second set of maps above, where Chiapas is one of the few dark green areas in September 2020 and remains dark green as the Fall surge engulfs northern and central Mexico.


    1. No edit feature here, so here’s some more info: In Chiapas health workers went door to door in 10 cities and handed out kits to families that had symptoms. The 10,000 drug kits included Ivermectin, Indomethacin, Azithromycin, Paracetamol, Oseltamivir and Calcium. That’s an anti-parasitic anti-viral, an anti-inflammatory analgesic often used to treat gout ( perhaps similar to colchicine?), Tylenol, TamifluR (influenza anti-viral), and calcium. This cocktail appears to have worked.


    2. You are right Andrew. It’s also worth to mention that in December 2020 when Mexico City had its worst time. A group of heaths workers from Chiapas came to Mexico City to help. I wonder if they shared their experience in controlling the outbreak with ivermectin in Chiapas

  2. My friend’s 82 year-old mother got Covid in Oaxaca a couple of months ago. She needed oxygen and was sent to a hospital where they gave her ivermectin, zinc, and vitamin D. To my relief, she survived and went home after only a few days.