Spain donates Covid-19 vaccine to Guatemala

Guatemala City, Sep 16 (EFE).- The second of at least three shipments of Covid-19 vaccine donated by Spain arrived Thursday in the Guatemalan capital.

Guatemalan Health Minister Francisco Coma and Spanish diplomat Ricardo Gonzalez were on hand when the plane carrying 307,200 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine landed at La Aurora International Airport.

The first consignment, consisting of 201,600 doses, was delivered Aug. 5, and Gonzalez told Efe that an additional 151,200 doses will reach Guatemala “in the coming weeks.”

He said that the donation to Guatemala “is part of Spain’s commitment, announced during the Ibero-American Summit” to provide 7.5 million vaccine doses through the World Health Organization’s Covax program, which will distribute the doses based on “the epidemiological needs of each country.”

Also present for Thursday’s delivery was Miguel Gonzalez Guillon, head of technical coordination for Spain’s AECID foreign aid agency.

Two days after being sworn-in as health minister, Copa thanked Spain for the donation and emphasized that accelerating the pace of vaccination is “the principal strategy to address the pandemic.”

With Thursday’s delivery, he said, Guatemala has a “significant volume” of doses ready to be administered.

And those reserves will be increased next week with the expected arrival from Russia of 700,000 doses of the Sputnik V vaccine that Guatemala purchased in April, Coma said.

To date, Guatemala has acquired 8.89 million doses through a combination of donations and purchases.

Nearly 4 million Guatemalans have gotten at least one dose of vaccine, while 1.89 million are fully vaccinated, according to figures from the health ministry.

Covid-19 has claimed 12,907 lives in Guatemala, where the number of confirmed cases stands at 521,000.

With 16.58 million people, Guatemala is the most populous nation in Central America. EFE ecs/dr

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