Ecuador signs agreement with China's Sinovac for 2 million COVID-19 vaccines

The Ecuadorian government said on Thursday it had negotiated the purchase of 2 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines with Chinese pharmaceutical company Sinovac that would allow authorities to start a mass inoculation process in the coming weeks.

The country began a pilot phase of vaccinations in January with doses of the Pfizer vaccine for medical personnel and elderly people in nursing homes, but has had delays in acquiring more doses.

Sinovac's COVID-19 vaccine has been approved by Ecuador's pharmaceutical regulator, and Health Minister Juan Carlos Zevallos said the first shipment will arrive in Ecuador in March with the rest to be delivered in April.

With the Sinovac deal, the government now expects to receive around 20 million doses this year, enough to immunize 60% of the population over 18 years of age.

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