- Conmebol said that the donation “is a concrete endorsement from the Chinese firm for the Conmebol Copa América and other South American football competitions”;
- The immunization will target the main South American professional football teams in the men’s and women’s first category tournaments;
- Logistics and operational details of the vaccination process will be informed in due time, said Conmebol.
The Chinese pharmaceutical firm Sinovac will donate 50,000 doses of its COVID-19 vaccine to Conmebol, the South American Football Confederation, as the entity informed in a memo this Tuesday.
“This is a concrete endorsement from the Chinese firm for the Conmebol Copa América and other South American football competitions,” said Conmebol, mentioning that the mediation of Uruguayan President, Luis Lacalle Pou, was key to reach such agreement.
The immunization will target the main South American professional football teams in the men’s and women’s first category tournaments.
“This is a huge step forward to defeat the COVID-19 pandemic, but it does not mean in any way that we are going to drop our guard. We will maintain our responsible work, the one that allowed us to conclude our tournaments without setbacks” said Alejandro Domínguez, president at the confederation.
“I appreciate this great gesture of solidarity and support from the Sinovac company, which understood that football is a fundamental activity for the economy, culture and physical and mental health of South Americans,” Domínguez added.
Conmebol was forced to postpone dates due to struggles for national team players to travel amid pandemic restrictions. Copa America is scheduled to kick off in June and will be played for the first time in two venues, Argentina and Colombia.
According to the memo, the logistics and operational details of the vaccination process will be informed in due time by Conmebol, in coordination with member associations.
“Nowhere are infections as worrisome as in South America, where cases are mounting in nearly every country,” Pan American Health Organization Director Carissa F. Etienne said last week. “In areas of Bolivia and Colombia, cases have doubled in the last week, and all four countries in the Southern Cone have been experiencing an acceleration in COVID-19 cases.”
Colombia beat on Monday the mark of 5 million vaccine doses, after receiving 551,070 shots from Pfizer. Meanwhile, in Chile, the country that has one of the fastest rates of vaccination worldwide, and the fastest one in Latin America, 200,000 COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer arrived in the country on Monday morning.