(Adds comment from Mexico's foreign minister)
MEXICO CITY, Sept 22 (Reuters) - Mexico's Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard on Tuesday said his country will finalize this week a deal to join the World Health Organization's global COVAX plan, which aims to deliver at least 2 billion doses of coronavirus vaccines by the end of next year.
Ebrard said Mexico is also preparing for Phase 3 coronavirus vaccine trials with companies from around the globe, with seven companies either signed up to carry out the final-phase trials in Mexico, or showing interest in doing so.
"We are going to be in Covax this week and we are going to have these phase 3 vaccine projects in Mexico," Ebrard told a press conference.
He said Mexico was in talks with companies from China, Germany, Russia, France, Italy and the United States to conduct coronavirus trials. Mexico has also struck a deal to produce pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca Plc's vaccine in Mexico for the Latin American market.
Mexico surpassed 700,000 confirmed coronavirus cases on Monday even as health authorities cited what they described as nearly two months of slowing infection rates. The Latin American nation has registered 73,697 coronavirus deaths. (Reporting by Ana Isabel Martinez and Raul Cortes Fernandez; Writing by Drazen Jorgic; Editing by Frank Jack Daniel)