The delay in the delivery of the Sputnik V vaccine against the coronavirus is not only an evil that affects Argentina. The president of Guatemala, Alejandro Giammattei, announced the cancellation of the purchase of eight million doses from Russia for failure to deliver.
Guatemala paid $ 79.6 million to the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) for eight million doses of Sputnik V. However, so far he has only received 550,000 doses – in five shipments – which generated the governmental anger of the Central American country.
At a press conference, Giammattei explained that his government renegotiated the contract and that they will no longer buy the additional eight million Russian doses as planned in the first agreement. In addition, he detailed that it has already begun to negotiate with other laboratories.
The president said that the canceled purchase corresponded to “fifty% that was planned to be spent on Sputnik vaccines. “
“As this commitment (with Russia) has been released this year, we will be investing that amount in the negotiations that are already taking place with other companies,” said the President.
The government, questioned
The delay in the delivery of the Sputnik V generated numerous reviews to the Guatemalan government and requests for investigation.
Dozens of social, educational and humanitarian organizations put Giammattei’s management in check and even publicly asked the resignation of the president.
From Russia it was reported that the contract with Guatemala was the delivery of eight million doses and a second part with the same amount of vaccines: 16 million doses of Sputnik V in total.
The Guatemalan president explained at a press conference the cancellation of the Sputnik V purchase contract from Russia. Photo: EFE
Beyond the government’s anger, Giammattei assured that the eight million doses that had already been paid for will arrive in the remainder of the year, according to the new commitment of the Russian government that promised to “speed up” deliveries.
Likewise, the Central American President clarified that the government is negotiating with US firms Johnson & Johnson, Moderna and Pfizer for the arrival of new vaccines.
Giammattei also announced that the state of prevention, decreed two weeks ago to stop the advance of the pandemic, and that gave him the power to dissolve the demonstrations that were carried out against him, is without effect.
Despite the delay in Russian vaccines, Guatemala has already received more than three million doses, including donations from the United States, India, Israel and Mexico; and purchases under the Covax mechanism of the World Health Organization (WHO).
But, at present, its vaccination campaign is stagnant, and not yet one million people have received the two doses.
The Central American country of about 17 million of inhabitants accumulated 355,223 infections and 10,174 deaths by coronavirus since the beginning of the pandemic.
With information from AFP