Chile Has More Than Enough Vaccine Doses, But It Wants More

Chile Has More Than Enough Vaccine Doses, But It Wants More

12:41 - The Chilean government has secured double the doses needed to vaccinate its population of 18 million, but it is negotiating to get more in case those contracts fall through, said the head of one of the government bodies in charge of obtaining those contracts.

The country has secured 36 million vaccine doses so far, including 10 million each from Pfizer-BioNTech and Sinovac, and four million each from AstraZeneca-Oxford and Johnson & Johnson, Rodrigo Yanez, the undersecretary of international economic relations, said in an interview. The government also has almost 8 million from the global vaccine-supply program COVAX.

Talks on supplying more doses continue, though, Yanez said. “We are looking for plan B with other laboratories, in case the ones we have could fail.” He called Chile “an example” to the world on diversifying vaccine sources and said his team is in communication with Moderna and Novavax and trying to make contact with Russia’s Sputnik 5.

Chile is the Latin American country that has secured the most vaccines relative to its population. As soon as the pandemic was declared, Yanez’s division was given the mission by the government of Sebastian Pinera of contacting laboratories, even those that were in the initial stages of vaccine development.

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Economists are counting on their deployment to allow the country to recover from this year’s contraction. The central bank forecasts growth of as much as 5.5% for next year. About $200 million of next year’s fiscal budget will go to paying vaccines.

Chile should begin this month vaccinations of front-line health workers with the Pfizer vaccine, Pinera said Dec.

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