The South American country, Guatemala, is buying 16 million doses of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine to inject about half of the Central American country’s population, President Alejandro Giammattei said on April 5.
|Guatemala bought a Russian vaccine for the goal of vaccinating half of the population.|
In a public address, Giammattei said the government had already transferred a payment for 8 million two-dose vaccines, which will arrive in the next two weeks.
Guatemala is the next country in Latin America to buy Russian vaccines. Previously, six countries including Argentina, Bolivia, Mexico, Nicaragua, Paraguay and Venezuela have allowed the use of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine. Many other countries are also considering licensing requirements that are increasingly urgent due to the shortage of vaccines available globally.
Argentina is the first country in South America to approve and order Russian vaccines.
Eduardo Valdes, a former diplomat and politician in Argentina, said many countries have set aside internal problems in other countries such as democracy, human rights and are mainly interested in purchasing vaccines.
The case of Colombia is a case in point. Colombia is America’s closest regional ally. The country approved the Sputnik V vaccine – a decision that surprised many due to the close ties between some members of the ruling coalition government and the US Republican Party.
In the past, many politicians in Colombia have openly criticized Russian President Vladimir Putin’s involvement in Latin America.
It is noteworthy that at the end of 2020, Colombia expelled two Russian officials in a mixed event. By January 2021, Colombia quickly negotiated with Russia to buy the COVID-19 vaccine.
The need to secure vaccines can be seen as very urgent in the region as Latin American countries are among those severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to Danil Bochkov, an expert on international relations at the Russian Council for International Affairs, Russia’s participation is a key part of the current spread of vaccines in Latin America. Transactions of vaccine purchases with the state are easier than private companies, which have to hedge against possible risks out of fear of damage.
Meanwhile, state-owned companies are easier to negotiate, especially when they pursue political goals.
Valdes, the Argentine lawmaker, also confirmed that it is easier to negotiate the purchase of vaccines with Russia with Pfizer. Argentina has agreed to buy 25 million doses of the Sputnik V vaccine and has received 600,000 doses while waiting for the first shipment from Pfizer.
In addition to easy negotiation, the main reason that Sputnik V is chosen by many Latin American countries is price and simple storage (in the refrigerator). The price announced by the Russian side is only about $ 10 a dose, half as cheap as the Pfizer vaccine, which costs $ 19.5 a dose.
Russian President Vladimir Putin asked his counterpart with COVID-19
Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier this week called and congratulated his Argentine counterpart, Alberto Fernandez, after he had received 2 doses of the Sputnik V vaccine and still had COVID-19.
|Russian President Vladimir Putin phoned Argentine President Alberto Fernandez after he had received 2 doses of the Sputnik V vaccine.|
Instead of a reprimanding response, Argentina thanked Russia for providing the COVID-19 vaccine.
“The President of Argentina expressed his deep gratitude to Russia and noted that his illness was mild, asymptomatic, thanks to the positive effect of the Sputnik V vaccine” – the Kremlin press agency said.
Specifically, President Putin phoned his counterpart in Latin America to find out about his health condition. In response, the President of Argentina asked Mr. Putin “to help, to ensure a regular supply of vaccines”.
“Mr. Fernandez once again said that the vaccination campaign has yielded excellent results and proceeded without any serious complications” – the statement stated.
Currently, Argentina uses Russia’s Sputnik V, China’s Sinopharm and India’s Covishield.
Argentine President Fernandez, 62, said in a tweet from last week that he had tested positive for coronavirus. After that, he said that he felt well, and pleased that he would have felt much worse without a prior vaccination.
“The vaccine works. If I didn’t have the vaccine, I would feel very bad,” said President Fernandez.
Russian President Vladimir Putin wished his Argentine counterpart, Alberto Fernandez, to recover as soon as possible after being confirmed positive for the COVID-19 virus and wished him a happy birthday.
“President Vladimir Putin wishes President Alberto Fernandez a happy birthday and wishes him a full recovery” – the Kremlin statement added.