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Venezuela signs agreement with Russia to purchase Sputnik V vaccine – RT in english

The Venezuelan authorities have announced the acquisition of the Russian vaccine Sputnik V for 10 million people. The aim is to achieve the first series of vaccinations during the first three months of 2021.

Announcing the signing of the agreement between Caracas and Moscow in a televised speech on December 29, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said the vaccine would be available free of charge to the entire population. According to him, the agreement for the purchase of the Russian vaccine Sputnik V is the result of “several months of serious and responsible work” which should allow the vaccination of 10 million people.

He also thanked Russian President Vladimir Putin for allowing the mass vaccination campaign in the country. “I thank President Putin for this important step towards the start of mass vaccination in Venezuela,” Maduro wrote on his Twitter page.

Venezuela became the first country in the Western Hemisphere to participate in clinical trials of the Russian vaccine, when the first doses of Sputnik V arrived in the country in October. President Maduro noted that the phase III trials had proven to be successful and that no adverse effects of the vaccine had been observed so far.

Vice-President Delcy Rodríguez, who participated in the signing of the contract, also called the vaccine “very safe” and promised to launch the vaccination campaign “as soon as possible”. “No criminal blockade will undermine the sacred right of our people to access the vaccine,” she tweeted, referring to US sanctions.

Kirill Dmitriev, director of the Russian Sovereign Fund which funded the development of Sputnik V, said he hoped to start delivery of the vaccine without delay. He noted, however, that delivering the quantity of doses needed for such a vaccination campaign could take six months or more.