Bolivia Receives First Batch of Sinopharm Vaccine from China

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A batch of 500,000 doses of the anti-COVID-19 vaccine from the Chinese pharmaceutical Sinopharm arrived this Wednesday in Bolivia to join the campaign of massive and free immunization of the population of the South American country, according to sources from the local Ministry of Health.

Luis Arce, the Bolivian president, upon receiving the shipment, expressed that the arrival of these drugs marks the re-establishment of relations between the two countries and recalled that he held a telephone conversation with his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, last January 28, to resume ties, affected during the de facto government that emerged from the coup d’état in November 2019.

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Arce said in this regard: “Today we have 500,000 vaccines for the Bolivian people. Of these vaccines, 400,000 we are buying, and there is a donation of 100,000. Therefore, it is not any relationship but that of the peoples, the friendly relations that should have been maintained throughout time and never broken with China,” he remarked.

The Bolivian President confirmed that many doctors had been vaccinated so far with Gamaleya’s drug, Sputnik V, even with the second dose, and from Thursday onwards, vulnerable sectors of the population such as people with primary diseases, cancer, renal pathologies, and older adults will receive the Sinopharm drug.

In this context, Arce urged Bolivian doctors to stop the strike in rejection of the Health Emergency Law, abandon the protests and join the massive vaccination campaign against COVID-19: “We urge all doctors to start vaccinating the people instead of going on strike because the vaccines are already available and the people are waiting for their services,” he said.

The doctors have been on strike for six days and are demanding the drafting of a new Health Emergency Law that has their endorsement, since, in their opinion, the current one violates their rights; however, a month ago, they had shown their agreement with the draft of the same law.

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