After the delay, Venezuela will pay $ 64 million for COVAX vaccine

Venezuela paid $ 64 million, half of the required dose, for the dose it would receive through the United Nations COVAX program. Delcy Rodriguez, Vice President of the Maduro administration, announced on Saturday on state television.

“The COVAX mechanism requires prepayment. Venezuela has doubled the required prepayment,” said Rodriguez, who said the government has deposited “CHF 59.2 million in GAVI’s account,” co-leader of the COVAX program. I did. We are trying to improve access to vaccines in low-income countries.

Rodriguez did not identify the funds used by the Maduro administration to pay for the vaccine.

In recent months, the country’s internationally recognized opposition leaders and various civil society organizations have urged the administration to buy more vaccines through COVAX. However, the administration has postponed purchases after being accepted into the COVAX program last year, saying that the funds needed to confuse Venezuelans have been frozen in the United States, opposition leader Juan Guaidó said Saturday.

Guaidó said the delay was at the expense of life and the excuse for US sanctions was to confuse the masses.

“They preferred to delay the urgency of lying and cheating … Through the facts, the administration realized that we were always on track. There are no blockades or sanctions to prevent the purchase of vaccines.” Said Guaidó.

“Due to Venezuelans’ demands, civil society pressure, parliamentary and legitimate government actions, the administration has taken the first step towards Venezuela’s participation in the COVAX,” he says. Added..

Venezuelan vaccination efforts are also complicated by Venezuelan socialist leader Nicolas Maduro refusing to accept the AstraZeneca vaccine after receiving reports of blood clots elsewhere. COVAX said it has secured a shot of AstraZeneca for use in Venezuela this year.

Rodriguez said in a statement that Venezuelan health officials are evaluating vaccines that the country accepts, especially considering the various variants of the coronavirus, especially those that originated in Brazil.

In September 2020, the Vice President announced that the socialist government had signed an agreement on more than 11 million doses that could vaccinate about 20% of the population.

Rodriguez added that the remaining $ 60 million worth of vaccine is now “guaranteed.”

COVAX has delivered at least 2 billion doses this year and expects to diversify its offerings beyond the current AstraZeneca / Oxford and Pfizer / BioNTech shots.

Epoch Times Photo
An elderly woman was vaccinated against Russian Sputnik V coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Caracas, Venezuela on April 9, 2021. (Leonardo Fernandez Viloria / REUTERS)

Venezuela’s vaccination campaign lags behind most other countries in the region.

With about 500,000 Shinofarm vaccines from China and about 250,000 doses of Russian Sputnik V, officials have recently said they expect another 30,000 doses soon.

Opponents say they are pushing the COVAX mechanism over Chinese and Russian vaccines as “the first option to provide affordable, safe, high-quality, internationally recognized vaccines.” Said.

Maduro has extended the coronavirus blockade several times as the country continues to record high rates of infection.

As of Friday, Venezuelan authorities registered 172,461 cases of coronavirus and 1,739 deaths. Medical unions say the number of cases and deaths is probably much higher.

The Epoch Times contributed to this article.