The Bolivian government announced Wednesday that it had signed a contract with the Serum Institute to supply 5 million doses of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine.
President Luis Arce said that, in conjunction with a recently signed purchase agreement for 5.2 million Sputnik V vaccine doses from Russia, Bolivia is now expected to be able to vaccinate the entire eligible population.
Both vaccines require two doses to be given, which means a total of 5.1 million people from Bolivia’s 11.51 million people will be vaccinated.
Bolivia has also signed an agreement on the global COVAX initiative, supported by the World Health Organization, to ensure equitable distribution of vaccines in order to receive an additional 3.6 million doses of a range of vaccines.
Bolivia, which has seen periods of political and social turmoil since the 2019 elections in which longtime President Evo Morales resigned, is struggling to reach bilateral vaccine supply deals.
Arce said the first million AstraZeneca cans would arrive in Bolivia in April. The first 6,000 Sputnik cans are expected to arrive at the end of January.
Bolivia also received 650,000 of a promised 1.6 million shipment of COVID-19 tests from South Korea this week. The nasal antigen tests will allow Bolivia to conduct comprehensive tests for the disease for the first time since the pandemic broke out, potentially leading to an increase in the number of reported infections.
On Tuesday, the Ministry of Health reported 1,473 new cases, a total of 176,761 cases and 9,454 deaths.