Montevideo, Mar 16 (efe-epa).- More than 1.5 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine from Chinese drug maker Sinovac arrived Tuesday in the Uruguayan capital.
The chartered Latam airlines flight carrying the second shipment of the CoronaVac vaccine landed at Carrasco International Airport outside Montevideo shortly after mid-day.
The consignment completes Uruguay’s order for 1.75 million doses of CoronaVac.
On this occasion, the packing containers were emblazoned only with the respective flags of Uruguay and China, but also with a stanza of poetry in Spanish: “No te rindas/que la vida es eso/ continuar el viaje/perseguir tus sueños.” (Don’t give up, That’s what life is, Continue the journey, Follow your dreams).
The poem was recited by Uruguayan former President Tabare Vazquez in one of his final public appearances before dying of cancer in December.
Early Tuesday, Alvaro Delgado, chief of staff to incumbent President Luis Lacalle Pou, wrote on Twitter that the cargo from Beijing included 178,000 masks and 1,000 pair of gloves donated by Sinovac.
Due to arrive in Uruguay on Wednesday are 50,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine, part of a total order of around 460,000 doses scheduled to be delivered by April 26.
The initial doses of CoronaVac were reserved for school employees, police, firefighters, members of the military and the staff of the INAU child services agency.
But the uptake among those groups was smaller than expected and the government decided to hand over the unused surplus to the administration in the northern province of Rivera, bordering Brazil, which has become the epicenter of the pandemic in Latin American.
The first shipments of the Pfizer vaccine, shown in clinical trials to be more effective, went to front-line medical personnel, while the leftover Pfizer doses were delivered Tuesday to nursing homes in Montevideo.
Lacalle said last month that Uruguay would continue receiving vaccines without interruption until all 5.3 million doses Montevideo ordered have been delivered.
The country is now experiencing a spike in infections, setting a new one-day record of 1,587 on Sunday. Active cases stand at 10,536, including 131 Covid-19 patients in intensive care.
Coronavirus has claimed 717 lives in Uruguay. EFE