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Chile inks deal for 1.8 million doses of CanSino COVID-19 vaccine as inoculation drive plows ahead

Chile inks deal for 1.8 million doses of CanSino COVID-19 vaccine as inoculation drive plows ahead

Chile's President Sebastian Pinera delivers a speech in Santiago, Chile, on Jan 29, 2020. (Photo: REUTERS/Edgard Garrido)

SANTIAGO: Chile's president Sebastian Pinera said on Tuesday (Mar 30) that his government had signed a new deal with CanSino Biologics for its one-dose coronavirus vaccine as the South American nation vaults ahead with one of the world's fastest inoculation drives.

Pinera said in a televised statement that Cansino had agreed to deliver 1.8 million doses of the vaccine in May and June.

The latest deal assures the small but comparatively wealthy Latin American nation more than 35 million vaccination doses for 2021, enough to immunise 18 million people, Pinera said. More than 13 million shots have already been delivered, according to an official tabulation.

Chile moved fast and early to secure vaccines, signing deals with China´s Sinovac Biotech, US drugmaker Pfizer and the Britain-based AstraZeneca.

The nation is among the global leaders in vaccination per capita and has far outpaced its neighbors in Latin America. Nearly 35 per cent of Chileans have received at least one dose of a vaccine, according to a Reuters tally.

Cansino's vaccine, jointly developed with China's military research institute, is approved for use in China, Pakistan, Hungary and Mexico.

Pinera said he expects health authorities in Chile to approve the vaccine shortly.

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Source: Reuters/ec

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