After reaching an agreement with Russian authorities, Peru’s President Pedro Castillo on Monday announced that his administration would install a production plant of the Sputnik V vaccine to expedite COVID-19 immunization of Peruvian citizens.
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“Since heading office 40 days ago, our administration committed to working for the Peruvian people. Amidst the coronavirus pandemic, our priority is to save lives. We have set clear goals to achieve this,” he stated, recalling that the production plant would strengthen the technological infrastructure of the National Institute of Health (INS), which will be responsible for the production of the vaccine together with the Russian experts.
As of Monday, Peru had acquired over 19 million doses of China’s Sinopharm and U.S. Pfizer vaccines, with which it started its mass immunization campaign. However, amidst the third COVID-19 wave, Castillo decided to expedite the arrival of vaccines by signing procurement contracts with other suppliers.
To this end, his administration recently bought 20 million Sputnik V vaccines through the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF). This vaccine, which proved to be 97,6 percent effective in clinical trials, has already been acquired by 70 countries.
"With the new doses, we expect to immunize 50 percent of the population by September," Castillo stated, recalling that his administration also allocated US$795 million to finance crosscutting initiatives to reduce COVID-19 contagions.
Recently, Argentina also agreed to produce Sputnik V vaccines in coordination with Russia. As part of cooperation agreements, Venezuela, Mexico, Bolivia, and Guatemala have also acquired millions of doses of this vaccine.
Currently, Peru is the country with the most COVID-19 related deaths per 100,000 inhabitants. As of Sept. 7, this country had reported 2,155,508 cases and 198,523 related deaths, 35 of which occurred in the last 24 hours.