After Delays, Venezuela Pays $64 Million for COVAX Vaccines

by akoloy

Venezuela has paid $64 million, half of the required quantity, for doses it’s set to obtain via the United Nation’s COVAX program, Vice President of the Maduro regime Delcy Rodriguez introduced Saturday on state tv.

“You know that the COVAX mechanism requires an advance—Venezuela has even doubled the required advance,” stated Rodriguez, including that the federal government had deposited “59.2 million Swiss francs in the accounts of GAVI,” a co-leader of the COVAX program that seeks to enhance low-income international locations’ entry to vaccines.

Rodriguez didn’t specify what funds the Maduro regime used to pay for the vaccines.

In latest months, the nation’s internationally acknowledged leaders within the opposition and varied civil organizations have been pushing the regime to buy extra vaccines through COVAX. However, the regime delayed any buy even after being accepted into the COVAX program final yr, saying that the mandatory funds have been frozen within the United States in an effort to confuse Venezuelans, opposition chief Juan Guaidó stated on Saturday.

Guaidó stated that the delay has price lives, and the excuse of U.S. sanctions was to confuse the populace.

“They preferred to delay what is an urgency to lie and cheat … Through the facts, the regime recognized what we always maintained: there is no blockade or sanctions that prevent the purchase of vaccines,” Guaidó stated.

“The demand of Venezuelans, the pressure of civil society and the actions of the National Assembly and the Legitimate Government, have made the regime take a first step for Venezuela to join COVAX,” he added.

Vaccination efforts in Venezuela have additionally been difficult by Venezuelan socialist chief Nicolas Maduro’s refusal to just accept the AstraZeneca vaccine following studies of blood clotting elsewhere. COVAX this yr stated it had put aside doses of the AstraZeneca shot to be used in Venezuela.

In her announcement, Rodriguez stated Venezuelan well being authorities have been evaluating which vaccines the nation would settle for, particularly contemplating varied variants of the coronavirus, significantly the variant that originated in Brazil.

The vice chairman disclosed that in September 2020, the socialist authorities entered into the settlement for over 11 million doses, which might vaccinate round 20 p.c of the inhabitants.

Rodriguez added that the remaining $60 million value of vaccines have been now “guaranteed.”

COVAX expects to ship a minimum of 2 billion doses this yr and to diversify the providing past the AstraZeneca/Oxford and Pfizer/BioNTech photographs it’s presently supplying.

NTD Photo
An aged lady receives a dose of Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus illness (COVID-19) vaccine in Caracas, Venezuela on April 9, 2021. (Leonardo Fernandez Viloria/REUTERS)

Venezuela’s vaccination marketing campaign is behind most different international locations within the area.

It has obtained about 500,000 doses of the Sinopharm vaccine from China and about 250,000 of Russia’s Sputnik V, of which authorities not too long ago stated they anticipate the arrival of one other 30,000 shortly.

The opposition stated that it has been pushing for the COVAX mechanism over Chinese and Russian vaccines because it’s “first choice for offering affordable, safe, high quality and internationally certified vaccines.”

Maduro has prolonged coronavirus lockdown measures a number of instances because the nation continues to register excessive charges of infections.

As of Friday, Venezuelan authorities had registered 172,461 coronavirus circumstances and 1,739 deaths. Medical unions say the variety of circumstances and deaths are seemingly a lot larger.

The Epoch Times contributed to this text.

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