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Bolivia receives the donation of 3 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine

Monday, December 27th 2021 - 09:53 UTC
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Bolivia will have about 22 million doses available in the next few days, Hidalgo said Bolivia will have about 22 million doses available in the next few days, Hidalgo said

A shipment of 3 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine has landed in Bolivia Sunday. The batch of the Sinopharm drug is China's largest donation ever to the South American country and will be used particularly on children aged between 5 and 11 years old.

“This adds up to 3.5 million doses donated by the Chinese government. With this batch we have 12 million Sinopharm vaccines, which represents 58% of all vaccines that have reached Bolivia. These are exclusively for people between 5 and 11 years old,” Deputy Foreign Trade Minister Benjamin Blanco said.

In addition to the drugs, the BoA aircraft carried the syringes for their admkinistration, it was reported.

Blanco also announced two shipments of Moderna vaccines are due next weekend.

Bolivia has received donations of COVID-19 immunizers from China, Argentina and, through the Covax mechanism, from France, Spain and the United States. About 38% of the Bolivian population is fully vaccinated. So far, the country has administered 9.5 million doses of Sinopharm, AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Sputnik V and Johnson & Johnson vaccines (single doses) to people over 18 years of age, while just over 739,400 adolescents aged 12 to 17 have two doses and 152,663 have already taken the first.

A total of 152,663 children between the ages of 5 and 11 have received the first dose of vaccine since it was authorized Dec. 9. They are given Sinopharm and Pfizer vaccines. Bolivia has a population of around 11.5 million inhabitants. The country is going through a fourth wave of infections, with 577,680 detections and 19,554 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic.

Deputy Health Minister Alejandra Hidalgo Sunday announced that in the coming days the Government will be launching an application for smartphones whereby the vaccination card can be made available. Effective Jan. 1, that document will be requested to access crowded spaces, both public and private.

Hidalgo explained people already vaccinated will be able to obtain the certification with the QR code without having to print it. However, those interested may still go to a health center or access the Health Ministry's website and print the document.

“It is necessary for the Bolivian population to be able to carry their vaccination card to give protection and security to the person with whom we are going to meet,” Hidalgo said in an interview.

The official also said those unvaccinated who wish to attend a party must produce a negative PCR test from at least 48 hours prior to the event. Since vaccination is free, the tests are not and must be paid for by the interested party out of their own pockets. On the other hand, those who have already received the first, second and third doses can show up at any public health center and get the PCR or or nasal antigen test at no expense.

Hidalgo insisted the country will have about 22 million doses available in the next few days. She also said that starting Feb. 1 there will be a vaccination control of children to avoid infecting the elderly. She also said vaccination would not be required for school enrollment, although she admitted the final decision on the matter was up to the Education Ministry.

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