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  • as one of Latin America's poorest countries, Bolivia has struggled to secure deals with Western drugmakers for Covid 19 vaccines.

  • But that changed late last year when incoming president Luis Arce turned to Russia for help.

  • By the end of December, Bolivia clinched its first major deal with enough shots for some 20% of the population.

  • The first Sputnik V doses arrived in the country in late January just as cases were spiking, bringing hope to one of Latin America's most ravaged nations, where a recent surge has left corpses piling up amid overwhelmed funeral homes and cemeteries.

  • Bolivian President Luis Arce oil problem boliviano.

  • Whether the speed are today, the Bolivian people can breathe easy.

  • They can start to do so little by little and gradually.

  • Bolivia's reliance on Moscow underscores how governments across the region have turned to Russia's Sputnik V drug amid fears of being left behind in the global scramble for vaccines.

  • While wealthier developed nations have signed deals with large drug companies like Pfizer and AstraZeneca, many Latin American countries have faced difficulties doing so.

  • Bolivian Deputy Trade Minister Benjamin Blanco called discussions last year to obtain AstraZeneca's vaccine as difficult and intense, though He declined to give more details, citing a confidentiality agreement.

  • He said Bolivia wasn't able to negotiate with Pfizer because the country lacks the infrastructure to store the vaccines at the freezing temperatures required.

  • But Russia's political will, Blanco said, made a deal possible political thanks to the relationship that we have at the political level.

  • Russia considers Bolivia a strategic partner and vice versa.

  • Thanks to the intervention of our own Bolivian president, who has contacted the president of Russia by phone.

  • This contract was achieved for Russia.

  • Acceptance in Latin America lends legitimacy to its vaccine, which faced initial skepticism.

  • It also provides Moscow an opportunity to make inroads in the resource rich region at a time when Covid 19 vaccines are becoming a tool for soft power.

  • Sputnik V is named after the Soviet era satellite that triggered the space race.

  • In a nod to the projects geopolitical importance for Russian President Vladimir Putin.

  • Five other Latin American countries have now authorized use of the Sputnik V, including Argentina, Mexico, Nicaragua, Paraguay and Venezuela.

as one of Latin America's poorest countries, Bolivia has struggled to secure deals with Western drugmakers for Covid 19 vaccines.

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Amid vaccine scramble, Latin America turns to Russia

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    林宜悉 posted on 2021/03/04
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