Bolivia receives a second dose of Sputnik, but 293 thousand are missing

A batch of 30,000 second doses of Russia’s Sputnik-V vaccine arrived in the country that Saturday, but it’s 293,000 to complete the batch of first vaccinations, 400,000 that arrived on May 15.

Vaccination with the second dose of Sputnik V was delayed due to a number of production difficulties. This situation prevented the Gamaleya laboratory from complying with the signed contracts to provide immunizations.

The Vice Minister for Foreign Trade, Benjamin Blanco, responsible for receiving the vaccines, pointed out that small batches of the Russian drug arrive in the country and are immediately distributed in the various departments, but with priority over those of the central axis.

“They’re sending us batches to meet the second cans from Sputnik V. This time we get 30,000 second cans, which is the same as the batch of 400,000 cans that happened on the 15th of that lot, but they are adhering as agreed,” he said.

He stated that these doses should be completed by mid-August, so there will be a delay. Deliveries are still pending to complete the lots that arrived in June and July.

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Blanco added that the 293,000 missing doses account for 4.1% of the vaccinable population, although he acknowledged that the first doses of the Russian vaccine that have arrived in the country have not yet been completed.

Note that given the constant delays, the country’s health authorities initially set the application period between the first and second Russian doses to be 90 days, a period that has been extended to 180 days after an announcement by the manufacturer.

Sputnik V is the only vaccine against Covid-19 where the first and second dose are different. The production of component 1 (with the viral vector Ad26) proceeded at a slightly higher rate than that of the second (Ad5), which produced the delay.

The first 20,000 doses of the Russian immunizer arrived on January 28; on April 14th a second batch of 25,000 arrived; on April 20, 200,000 and on May 15, 400,000 cans.

On August 8, a shipment of 150,000 second cans of Sputnik V arrived in Bolivia.

According to the data, 1.2 million people received the first component from the Gamaleya laboratory.

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Combine

In the absence of the second dose of Russian immunization agents, it was suggested that it be combined with other vaccines. Health officials disagreed on this, with some ruling out the possibility and others supporting it.

Nine countries have signed contracts with the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), the government agency responsible for marketing Sputnik V: Argentina, Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras, Bolivia, Venezuela, Paraguay and Guyana.

NEW LOT OF CHINESE VACCINES

Vice Minister of Foreign Trade Benjamin Blanco confirmed that 3.3 million Chinese Sinopharm vaccines will arrive in Bolivia this Monday, a message brought forward by President Luis Arce.

With the arrival of this batch of Chinese immunizers, 99% of the vaccinable population will be covered, an estimated 7.2 million receiving the first dose and 86.5% with the full program.

“We are one of the countries that has secured the total amount needed to vaccinate the population for the first time in the region,” he said.

Bolivia will already receive 9 million doses of the Chinese vaccine with this new shipment, the agency said.

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