Q24N – Guatemala on Tuesday received 200,000 doses of the vaccine against covid-19 donated by India, which it will use to complete the immunization of health personnel attending the pandemic, which has left almost 6,500 dead in the country.
The shipment of the Covishield vaccines from the Indian Serum Institute, made with technology transfer from AstraZeneca / Oxford, arrived around midnight on Tuesday at the loading area of La Aurora International Airport, in the south of Guatemala City.
“India is one of the countries that has been a pioneer in seeking equity in the handling, production and distribution of vaccines,” said Bawa Syed Mubarak, Indian ambassador to Guatemala, handing over the shipment to Guatemalan Foreign Minister Pedro Brolo.
“India is governed by the principle that we are all one big family in the world and we work on that principle and try to contribute to that spirit of solidarity so that we all have the same opportunity” in access to vaccines, added the diplomatic.
The batch is the second donation that Guatemala receives from a partner country. Last week Israel delivered 5,000 doses of vaccines from the American pharmaceutical company Moderna.
The Guatemalan government, criticized locally for the delay in obtaining vaccines, has protested the international concentration and the limited access to these, even calling the Covax mechanism promoted by the World Health Organization (WHO) ineffective.
Guatemala expects 81,600 vaccines from Covax by mid-March and at the end of this month, the arrival of more than four million from Russia’s Sputnik V is expected through donation and direct purchase.
With 17 million inhabitants, Guatemala has accumulated 175,411 cases of the new coronavirus and around 6,412 deaths.
Guatemala’s President Alejandro Giammattei, a doctor and retired surgeon, has also been questioned about his handling of the pandemic after last year’s collapse in hospital services and complaints of deficiencies in social assistance programs, among other claims.
Giammattei suffers from multiple sclerosis and uses crutches in order to walk.In September 2020, he got sick with the coronavirus and has since recovered.