WORLD / AMERICAS
Venezuela’s Maduro receives first dose of Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine
Published: Mar 07, 2021 06:18 PM
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro prepares to cast his vote at a polling station in Caracas, Venezuela, Dec. 6, 2020. The elections to select the 277 deputies who will accede to the Venezuelan National Assembly for the period of 2021 to 2026 began in the early hours of Sunday.(Photo: Xinhua)

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro prepares to cast his vote at a polling station in Caracas, Venezuela, Dec. 6, 2020. The elections to select the 277 deputies who will accede to the Venezuelan National Assembly for the period of 2021 to 2026 began in the early hours of Sunday.(Photo: Xinhua)

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and first lady Cilia Flores have received their first doses of Russia's Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine, Venezuelan state television reported on Saturday, while the country received a second shipment of the vaccine.

Images of both Maduro and Flores receiving their doses were broadcast on state television. Maduro said he felt "fine" after receiving the injection.

"Across the world the studies say that the Russian vaccine is a great vaccine to generate immunity," Maduro said. "We will guarantee all vaccines for the people of Venezuela."

Later on Saturday, Venezuela's Health Ministry said the second batch of 100,000 Sputnik V doses had arrived from Moscow via a flight operated by state airline Conviasa.

Venezuela had received the first 100,000 doses of the Sputnik V vaccine on February 13. Maduro said authorities had administered around 60 percent of those doses, prioritizing medical personnel as well as officials and lawmakers in the first phase.

The South American country, home to some 25 million people, has invested $200 million to buy 10 million doses of the Russian vaccine.

The crisis-stricken OPEC nation also received 500,000 doses of China's Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine earlier this week. 

Maduro said the government would begin to inoculate Venezuelans with the Sinopharm vaccine beginning on Monday.

Venezuela has reported 141,356 cases of coronavirus and 1,371 deaths, well below levels of its South American peers. 

Reuters
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