Bolivia's President Luis Arce Wednesday signed a contract with India's Serum Institute for the purchase of 5 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by the AstraZeneca laboratory and U.K. Oxford University.
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"With this new purchase, we will be able to vaccinate the entire population over the age of 18," President Arce assured as he reported that the first doses will arrive in the country at the end of April.
The rest of the batches will arrive gradually. The government expects that the massive vaccination campaign will start in May.
"The time it takes for the vaccines to arrive in the country is not as fast as the government would like. It depends on the company that sells us the product," Health Vice Minister Maria Rene explained.
The AstraZeneca doses will join the 5.2 million doses of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine purchased by the Latin American country two weeks ago.
"The vaccine is part of the solution to the crisis that the country and the world are facing. Our government is working to guarantee health care for the Bolivian people," Arce said.
On Tuesday, former President and leader of the ruling Movement Towards Socialism (MAS) Evo Morales tested positive for COVID-19. Authorities confirmed that his health condition is stable as the symptoms are mild.
As of Wednesday morning, Bolivia had reported 176,761 COVID-19 cases and 9,454 deaths.