COVID-19 vaccination moves slowly in Latin America

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BUENOS AIRESĀ 

Latin American countries are having a hard time reaching coronavirus vaccines and the vaccination drive is progressing slowly.

Brazil, the country most affected by the pandemic in the world after the US, has made 562.9 million doses of vaccine agreements with pharmaceutical companies to be delivered in 2021. The country has nearly 17 million doses so far.

The agreements include vaccines from China’s CoronaVac, UK drug maker AstraZeneca, US-German joint product Pfizer-BioNTech, Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen, Russian Sputnik V, and India’s Covaxin. It will also receive over 42 million doses from World Health Organization’s COVAX facility, which aims to ensure equal access to vaccines in low and middle-income countries.

More than 11.5 million jabs have been administered in Brazil since Jan. 18, while only 3.6 million received the second dose.

The country has registered over 12.2 million cases and more than 300,000 deaths.

Mexico

Having one of the highest virus-related death tallies globally, Mexico launched a mass vaccination drive on Dec. 24 with the first jab from Pfizer-BioNTech.

The government aims to vaccinate all healthcare professionals in the country before the first quarter of 2021 is completed.

So far 5.7 million people have been vaccinated in the country.

Mexico is the third country to administer the most vaccines after Brazil and Chile.

It reached an agreement to receive 34.4 million doses of Pfizer-BioNTech, 77.4 million of AstraZeneca, 24 million of Sputnik V, 55 million doses of Chinese Sinopharm, CanSino, and Sinovac vaccines, and to supply 51.5 million doses from COVAX.

The country has already received over 9.2 million of those doses.

Mexico is the third country in the world with the highest number of deaths from the virus, nearing 200,000, and it has more than 2.2 million cases.

Argentina

The country purchased about 66.5 million vaccines and started a mass vaccination campaign on Dec. 29.

It will receive 30 million doses of Sputnik V, 1.16 million of AstraZeneca’s Covishield vaccine produced in India, 4 million Sinopharm and 22.4 million from AstraZeneca vaccines, as well as 9 million through COVAX.

With more than 4 million vaccines brought to the country, so far over 2.7 million have gotten a shot, while only 635,150 of them received the second dose.

COVID-19 is seen in nearly 2.3 million people in Argentina and has killed about 55,000.

Chile

Chile started its vaccination campaign on Feb. 3 and purchased about 40 million vaccine doses.

The country plans to vaccinate 40 million citizens this year with vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech, Sinovac, AstraZeneca, and COVAX.

With more than 13 million doses of CoronaVac and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines brought to the country, nearly 6.5 million people have been vaccinated and over 3.1 million received a second dose.

Despite providing early access to vaccines and applying at least one dose to more than 30% of the population, a partial quarantine was applied in some regions of the country as of March 25 due to the inability to prevent increased cases.

According to the Our World In Data site, Chile ranks third in the world among countries that apply the most vaccines per 100 people.

The coronavirus has taken the lives of nearly 22,500 people and infected more than 947,000 in the country.

Colombia

After starting its vaccination program on Feb. 17, Colombia has vaccinated 1.3 million people so far.

It has received about 3.5 million vaccine doses from Pfizer-BioNTech, Sinovac, AstraZeneca, and COVAX.

The third-largest country in Latin America is expected to receive an additional 20 million doses from COVAX and aims to vaccinate 35 million people in 2021.

More than 2.3 million coronavirus cases have been reported in the country, while over 62,000 died from the virus.

Peru

Peru, one of the most affected countries in Latin America, has received 700,000 doses from Sinopharm, 117,000 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech, and 167,500 doses from COVAX.

The country started its comprehensive vaccination drive on Feb. 10 with a doctor receiving the first jab.

As of today, the number of citizens vaccinated in the country has exceeded 700,000.

The Peruvian government has made a deal for 20 million dose of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, 14.4 million doses from AstraZeneca, and 13.2 million doses from COVAX.

In Peru, more than 50,600 people have died due to COVID-19 and nearly 1.5 million people have been infected.

Bolivia

Bolivia has agreed to provide approximately 16 million doses of vaccine, including 5.2 million doses of Sputnik V, 5 million doses of AstraZeneca, 500,000 doses of Sinopharm, and more than 5 million doses via COVAX program.

The country began its mass vaccination on Feb. 25 and nearly 161,000 people have received their shots, while over 57,200 received the second dose with 750,000 doses brought to the country.

Bolivia has more than 267,000 virus-related cases and over 12,100 deaths.

Venezuela

The country signed an agreement on Dec. 30 to purchase 10 million doses of the Sputnik V vaccine and it will able to produce the vaccine in the country under the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF).

The mass vaccination campaign in Venezuela started with the vaccination of President Nicolas Maduro on Feb. 7 and it has been administered to 15,000 people so far.

The first shipment that reached Venezuela included 500,000 doses of Sinopharm vaccine and 100,000 doses of Sputnik V.

While more than 152,500 people have been infected with the virus in the country, over 1500 people died.

All of the figures used in the story were taken from the Health Ministry of the mentioned countries each.

*Beyza Binnur Donmez from Ankara contributed to the story.

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