Chile announces deal with China’s CanSino to obtain COVID-19 vaccines

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SANTIAGO, March 30 (Xinhua) — Chilean President Sebastian Pinera on Tuesday announced an agreement with Chinese pharmaceutical firm CanSino Biologics to obtain COVID-19 vaccines as part of the country’s mass immunization campaign.

CanSino’s single-dose vaccines will arrive in Chile in May and June, adding to the 35 million doses the Chilean government and organizations have obtained through agreements with various companies, said Pinera.

The South American country hopes to vaccinate some 15 million people, or 80 percent of the population, by the first half of 2021.

“We hope that soon this new CanSino vaccine will be approved for emergency use by our Institute of Public Health and will be available to strengthen and accelerate our mass vaccination program, and thus reach younger generations more quickly,” Pinera said at a press conference.

The CanSino vaccine requiring only one dose has already been authorized in China, Mexico, Pakistan and Hungary, the office of the presidency said in a statement.

The doses can be refrigerated for up to three months at a temperature of 2 to 8 degrees Celsius, which also facilitates the distribution process, it said.

Chile is currently conducting phase 3 clinical trials of the CanSino vaccine, led by researchers from several leading universities.

Chile’s COVID-19 vaccination process has immunized 6.58 million people with at least one dose. Enditem

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