Venezuela To Receive AstraZeneca Vaccine Through COVAX - Pan American Health Organization

Venezuela to Receive AstraZeneca Vaccine Through COVAX - Pan American Health Organization

CARACAS (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 24th March, 2021) Venezuela will receive the AstraZeneca vaccine against COVID-19 through the international COVAX distribution mechanism, Ciro Ugarte, director of health emergencies for the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), said.

"The vaccines allocated [for shipment to Venezuela] are the AstraZeneca vaccines produced in South Korea, in other words, these are not vaccines that could have the potential side effects that European and WHO regulators have reported," Ugarte told reporters.

Ugarte stressed that Venezuela gained access to the COVAX mechanism after negotiations between various Venezuelan politicians.

Earlier in March, media reported that Venezuela's government and the US-backed political opposition struck an unprecedented agreement that would allow Caracas to use about $30 million of its offshore funds frozen by US sanctions to pay for coronavirus vaccines.

PAHO and UNICEF will be in charge of the distribution of the vaccines.

"This is the first step - a $18 million payment to gain access to the COVAX mechanism, this step is being implemented," Ugarte said.

Multiple countries, including France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Denmark, the Netherlands, Iceland and Norway have temporarily suspended the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine after citizens reported side-effects, particularly blood clots, after getting the shots. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) insists that immunization with the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine must continue.

Venezuela has so far received 200,000 doses of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine, as well as 500,000 doses of China's Sinopharm.