Maduro announces the start of the vaccination plan 0:28
(CNN Spanish) -
(CNN Spanish) -
Four days after the arrival of the first 100,000 doses of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine to Venezuela, the questioned President Nicolás Maduro announced that this Thursday, February 18, the immunization process will begin with the priority sectors.
Maduro reported that the investment of the agreement with Russia to obtain 10 million doses of Sputnik V is located at US $ 200 million.
CNN has not been able to independently verify the number of vaccines and the amount established in the contract referred to by Maduro.
The UN Special Rapporteur, Alena Douhan, who was visiting the country until February 12, estimated in her report that the Venezuelan population stands at 27 million inhabitants.
Maduro did not offer details on the delivery schedule for the doses or when the next batch will arrive.
However, he affirmed that he estimates that the mass vaccination phase in the country is advanced by April.
In a press conference with national and international media held at the Miraflores Palace, Maduro indicated that the vaccination of health personnel in the country would begin on February 18.
How will vaccination continue in Venezuela afterwards?
Maduro added that the process will continue with social personnel who are working on the streets, including those who register the number of infections, as well as security forces, government authorities and parliamentarians.
More than 90% of the legislators belong to the ruling party.
They were elected in elections questioned by the opposition and by the international community, and in which the opposition did not participate, arguing the lack of conditions in accordance with international standards.
Likewise, Maduro pointed out that he would have no problem considering that private sectors could bring vaccines to distribute them in the country.
He stressed that the National Institute of Hygiene is also evaluating the possibility of bringing Chinese and Cuban vaccines by mid-year.
He also referred to the announcement of a table installed between his representatives and others linked to the main opposition leader, Juan Guaidó, and with the participation of the Pan American Health Organization.
The measure aims to reach agreements that allow the release of funds frozen due to sanctions imposed by countries like the United States on individuals and some public bodies, accused of violating Human Rights and undermining democracy.
Guaidó, recognized as the president in charge of the countries that issue the sanctions, would mediate so that the resources are released for the acquisition of immunization doses.
It would include among its conditions that the distribution be in charge of multilateral organizations such as UNICEF and PAHO, to avoid discrimination and political overtones during the distribution of vaccines.
In this regard, Nicolás Maduro assured that he hopes that said negotiation "culminates in a successful and favorable manner."
He also asserted that they are waiting "for the release of the gold from England, retained as a result of sanctions imposed by that country."