The Government of Daniel Ortega announced this Friday the arrival of a batch with 1.2 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, which is 50% of a total purchase of 2.4 million doses, made through the Revolving Fund of the Pan American Organization for Health (PAHO).
“Hoy (Friday), at noon, 1 252 800 new doses of AstraZeneca must have arrived corresponding to the first delivery of 50% of the purchase that our Government made through the PAHO / WHO Revolving Fund for an amount of 15.8 millions of dollars“, informed the vice president and state spokeswoman, Rosario Murillo.
This is the first purchase that the Ortega government has made from producers other than its allies. Until November 2021, the only vaccine purchases were made from Russia and Cuba, which offer vaccines not yet approved internationally.
With the arrival of this batch, Nicaragua has already added 13 112 030 doses of seven types of vaccines: Covishield / AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Sinopharm, Soberana 02, Abdala, Sputnik V and Sputnik Light. 42.32% of these doses were donated by Spain, Norway, France, the United States, India, Russia, the Covax mechanism and China. Meanwhile, the remaining 57.68% are purchases made to Russia, Cuba and now acquired through the Revolving Fund.
Murillo assured that in the country, vaccination coverage against covid-19 has already been achieved, with a dose of 75%. According to the latest update on vaccination published by PAHO with data from the Minsa, the coverage with both doses is already 39.98%, and as far as they reported, 7.3 million vaccines were already applied nationwide.
After nine months of delay, Nicaragua managed to increase the application of vaccines to its population after receiving a massive arrival of doses to the country. According to a count of CONFIDENTIALFrom September 1 to December 17, the country received 12.1 million vaccines. This allowed the Ministry to deploy brigades from house to house and to extend vaccination to the population over two years of age.
Nicaragua will produce first batch of vaccines
This week, the Russian ambassador to Nicaragua, Alexander Khokhólikov, assured that Nicaragua is already producing the Russian vaccine CoviVac at the Mechnikov Institute, and they foresee that in January 2022 they will have ready the first doses that will be for use in the population and also for export.
“We hope that starting next month, in January, we will already supply this vaccine to the Nicaraguan population and to export it. It is a special vaccine, it is a classic vaccine, it is called CoviVac from the Chumakov laboratory, it does not contain live virus, so it is classic“said the Russian ambassador.
This would be the first vaccine against covid-19 produced by Nicaragua. Since 2020, the Ortega government has promised to produce vaccines in the country, but so far it has had no results. As announced, the initial idea was to manufacture Sputnik V vaccines, created by the Gamaleya Institute, but this project was never started.
Now the bet is on the CoviVac vaccine, which is produced by the Chumakov Institute of Russia, but which also does not have the approval of the World Health Organization (WHO). To make this vaccine, the raw material arrived in the country last October, according to the Nicaraguan government.
“There are two emblematic projects in Nicaragua in times of a very important pandemic: the work of the influenza vaccine production plant in Mechnikov, now we are able to make Nicaragua produce the influenza vaccine and also the covid-19 coronavirus vaccine“Khokholikov said.