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COVID-19 and its effects in Latin America

Follow the main news about coronavirus and its impacts in Latin America

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  • July 23, 21 - 7:02 pm - LABS

    China’s Sinovac Sinovac studies sites to set up a factory in Chile

    Executives from the Chinese pharmaceutical company Sinovac have been conducting meetings with authorities and visiting possible sites to build a vaccine factory in Chile in the first quarter of 2022.

    The South American country is working on a rapid and massive inoculation program that has been supported by the vaccine developed by the Asian firm.

    Chile’s Minister of Economy, Lucas Palacios, told Reuters that the projected facility would produce about 50 million annual doses of vaccines and that in addition to CoronaVac for COVID-19, it could develop other immunizers for hepatitis B, influenza and other diseases.

    Sinovac is expected to decide on the facility soon. The plant would meet not only the country’s demand but Latin America’s as a whole.

  • July 23, 21 - 4:45 pm - LABS

    Sanofi Pasteur and GSK to start phase III clinical trials for a COVID-19 vaccine in Colombia

    Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccination division of French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi, is starting its phase 3 clinical trials for a COVID-19 vaccine in partnership with the British group GSK in Colombia.

    It is a recombinant protein vaccine whose study will be carried out in seven research centers in Bogotá, Barranquilla, Cali, Florida Blanca, Soledad, Chía, and Girardot.

    More than 35,000 volunteers over 18 years of age from different countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and North America will participate in the study.

    Two weeks ago, Brazil’s health regulator Anvisa approved the company’s request to carry out phase 1 and phase 2 clinical trials for its COVID-19 vaccine in the country as well.

    The shot will use mRNA technology, the same one of Pfizer‘s and Moderna‘s COVID-19 jabs.

  • July 23, 21 - 9:37 am - Reuters

    Covaxin maker announces termination of deal with Brazil’s Precisa Medicamentos

    The Indian laboratory Bharat Biotech, a manufacturer of the COVID-19 vaccine Covaxin, announced on Friday the immediate termination of the memorandum of understanding it had signed with the Brazilian pharmaceutical company Precisa Medicamentos for commercialization in Brazil of its vaccine.

    In a statement, the Indian company said that despite the end of the agreement, it will continue to work with the Brazilian health regulator to complete the process of obtaining regulatory approval for the vaccine in Brazil.

    The negotiations for the purchase of Covaxin by the Ministry of Health became the target of Brazilian Senate’s investigation committee, for suspected irregularities, which led the Ministry of Health to suspend the contract to purchase the vaccine, after the budget commitment of BRL 1.6 billion to pay for the supply of vaccine doses.

  • July 22, 21 - 7:46 pm - LABS

    Spain to donate COVID-19 vaccines to Latin American countries, says prime minister

    In an interview with CNN en Español, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said the country will begin this week to donate 7.5 million doses of vaccines against COVID-19, mainly to countries in Latin America.

    Sánchez said the vaccines will be distributed through the Covax mechanism.

    He also said that his government had asked Cuba to launch reforms to help its people.

  • July 22, 21 - 3:57 pm - LABS

    Chile allows travel abroad after COVID-19 infections drop

    Chile announced on Thursday that, starting on July 26, it will allow Chileans and foreigners residing in the country to travel abroad if they have completed their vaccination program. Chile is by far the leader in vaccination against COVID-19 in Latin America.

    In early July, the government relaxed some restrictions thanks to the massive and rapid vaccination plan that has already reached more than 13 of the 19 million inhabitants with at least one dose of the vaccines applied in the South American country.

    Those returning from abroad must undergo a strict 10-day quarantine at home, in addition to tests to detect possible contagion.

    Authorities reiterated that they will tighten border controls as long as fears exist for the spread of the Delta variant of the virus.

  • July 21, 21 - 3:47 pm - Reuters

    Chile approves emergency use of Sputnik-V vaccine against coronavirus

    Chile‘s Public Health Institute has approved the emergency use of the Russian Sputnik-V vaccine against COVID-19, adding to the country’s already comprehensive immunization program, the institute said in a statement.

    One of the institute’s experts voted against the approval and two abstained, calling for more information on the effectiveness of the formula developed by Russia’s Gamaleya Institute. Five members of the committee convened by the institute voted for approval.

    “We approve the use of the Sputnik-V vaccine in Chile,” Heriberto García, the institute’s president, said in a statement. The committee evaluated data from Chile and also from Mexico and Argentina, where the Russian vaccine is also applied, he said.

    García said that no major side effects of Sputnik-V have been observed. So far, the country has applied at least one dose to 13 million people in its population of 19 million from an arsenal that includes vaccines from Pfizer, AstraZeneca, and Sinovac.

  • July 18, 21 - 10:58 am - Reuters

    Brazil registers 868 new COVID-19 deaths and the total goes to 541,266

    Brazil on Saturday registered 868 new deaths from COVID-19, bringing the total number of deaths from the disease in the country to 541,266, Brazil‘s Health Ministry said.

    There were also 34,339 new cases of coronavirus, with the total number of infections in the country advancing to 19,342,448, it added.

    The ministry’s website, however, shows zero new cases and new deaths in São Paulo state on Saturday, indicating that there has been no update to São Paulo data. São Paulo is the state with the highest number of cumulative cases and deaths in the country.

    Brazil is the second country with the highest number of deaths from COVID-19, after the United States, and the third in cases, after the U.S. and India.

    Brazil‘s government reports 17,983,275 people recovered from COVID-19 and 817,907 patients in follow-up.

  • July 16, 21 - 9:16 am - LABS

    U.S to send 3.5 million Moderna vaccine doses to Argentina

    The United States will begin shipping 3.5 million doses of Moderna‘s COVID-19 vaccine to Argentina on Friday as part of a bilateral agreement between the countries, a White House official said, reported Reuters.

    Recently, the U.S. has distributed vaccines to Taiwan, Brazil, El Salvador, Bangladesh, Peru, and Pakistan, among other countries. The White House also said it will also share more vaccines with Haiti, a day after the country received 500,000 doses donated by Washington.

    As reported by Reuters, President Biden also said he is willing to send vaccines to Cuba if he is assured that an international organization will administer them.

  • July 15, 21 - 1:18 pm - Reuters

    Argentina surpasses 100,000 COVID-19 deaths

    Argentina has been one of the hardest-hit countries in Latin America in terms of cases and deaths per capita, with 4.7 million infections and a total of deaths from COVID-19, that surpassed 100,000 on Wednesday.

    Average daily cases have fallen from last month’s peak and the occupancy rate of ICU beds is also declining, although it still exceeds 60% nationally.

    “Every life that’s gone is a great grief to me,” President Alberto Fernández said in a speech last week. “I guarantee that we will not stop in these months to vaccinate every Argentine.”

    While developed countries like the United States have reduced deaths with rapid immunization programs, others in South America lead the rankings of daily deaths and cases per capita, with vaccine distribution hampered by low supply.

    Argentina, a country with about 45 million people, applied 25.7 million doses of vaccine, although only 5 million have received the two doses, mostly from the Russian Sputnik V, AstraZeneca, and Sinopharm, from China.

    The distribution of vaccines is raising hopes that the country will be able to control the pandemic, but the more dangerous Delta variant is causing a spike in cases even in countries with high vaccination rates, such as Israel, causing them to rethink their campaigns.

    The pandemic intensifies an economic crisis already underway in Argentina, which has been essentially stuck in a recession since 2018, with runaway inflation, tight capital controls, and a weak currency causing a flight of dollars.

  • July 09, 21 - 8:44 am - Reuters

    Argentina to close deal with Moderna for COVID-19 vaccine

    Argentina announced on Thursday that it will sign a COVID-19 vaccine supply agreement with Moderna, as the country tries to speed up the immunization of its population and prevent a possible coronavirus‘ third wave.

    Cabinet chief Santiago Cafiero told Congress that the agreement with the US company will be signed on Monday, but did not detail the number of doses being purchased or agreed delivery dates.

    Until now, Argentina has largely based its COVID-19 vaccination program around the Sputnik V, Sinopharm, and AstraZeneca vaccines. The country has vaccinated 23.7 million of its 45 million population with at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and 4.9 million people have received both doses.

    As of Wednesday, Argentina has recorded 4.6 million cases and 97,000 deaths from COVID-19. The country is currently seeing a decline in cases after a second wave triggered new restrictions.

    (Translated by LABS)

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