With the economy in shambles, the health system collapsed and a serious humanitarian crisis, it was to be expected that Venezuela would be among the countries eligible to receive free Covid-19 vaccines through Covax, the fund for the purchase and distribution of immunizations of which 133 countries belong. However, the country is not on the list of beneficiary nations. At the same time, it did not receive any dose through the mechanism, even though it was registered with Covax as a “self-financed participant”. What explains this?
Covax includes 92 low- and lower-middle-income economies on the list of “Subsidized Participants.” Bolivia, for example, has already received hundreds of thousands of doses and should start receiving in the coming weeks another million vaccines from Johnson & Johnson donated through Covax.
But within this classification, which is based on World Bank data, Venezuela is considered an upper-middle-income nation – even though almost 80% of its population is living in extreme poverty. This is because the country’s official economic data has not been updated since 2014, when the per capita income of Venezuelans was US$13,000. The estimated per capita income for the country is currently US$ 1,700, but the lack of official data makes the country have to pay for access to vaccines.
In addition, the regime, despite recent relief from US sanctions on the purchase of vaccines, has failed to make payments to access the 5 million doses of Johnson & Johnson vaccine reserved for Venezuela by Covax. Nicolás Maduro blames US sanctions for blocking four financial transactions that prevented the payment of the US$ 120 million from being completed.
Cuban vaccine in Venezuela
Recently, the Chavista dictatorship reported that it vaccinated 11% of its population, but the opposition and independent health organizations contested the data, claiming at the time that not enough doses had arrived in the country to immunize this portion of the population.
The country uses only Sputnik V and Sinopharm vaccines in its immunization campaign against Covid-19. In the coming months, it will include the Cuban Abdala vaccine, since last Thursday the regime signed a contract with Cuba to purchase 12 million doses of this immunizing agent.
In view of the announcement, the Medical Federation of Venezuela asked the population to refuse the Cuban vaccine, which, according to the Castro dictatorship, is 92.2% effective.
“Abdala is not a vaccine. It is an experimental biological product that has not been authorized by the Center for the Control of Medicines in Cuba or by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)”, said the president of this union of doctors, Douglas León Natera, cited above. in a press release.
The National Bioethics Center of Venezuela (Cenabi) also expressed concern about the lack of transparency regarding the results obtained in Abdala’s clinical trials. PAHO urged Abdala’s manufacturers to publish the results of their clinical trials.