SANTIAGO (Reuters) – Chile’s president Sebastian Pinera said on Tuesday that his government had signed a new deal with CanSino Biologics for its one-dose coronavirus vaccine as the South American nation vaults ahead with one of the world’s fastest inoculation drives.
Pinera said in a televised statement that Cansino had agreed to deliver 1.8 million doses of the vaccine in May and June.
The latest deal assures the small but comparatively wealthy Latin American nation more than 35 million vaccination doses for 2021, enough to immunize 18 million people, Pinera said. More than 13 million shots have already been delivered, according to an official tabulation.
Chile moved fast and early to secure vaccines, signing deals with China´s Sinovac Biotech, U.S. drugmaker Pfizer Inc and the Britain-based AstraZeneca Plc
The nation is among the global leaders in vaccination per capita and has far outpaced its neighbors in Latin America. Nearly 35% of Chileans have received at least one dose of a vaccine, according to a Reuters tally.
Cansino’s vaccine, jointly developed with China’s military research institute, is approved for use in China, Pakistan, Hungary and Mexico.
Pinera said he expects health authorities in Chile to approve the vaccine shortly.
(Reporting by Dave Sherwood; Editing by Bill Berkrot)