GUATEMALA CITY, June 29 (Reuters) – Guatemalan Health Minister Amelia Flores said on Tuesday that the government had asked Russia to return money already paid for doses of the Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine due to non-delivery.
The government of President Alejandro Giammattei paid some $ 80 million in early April for a supply of 8 million doses of the vaccine. So far, it has only received 150,000, the government said, as COVID-19 infections in the Central American country have peaked.
The minister said Guatemala had given the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), responsible for marketing the vaccine abroad, 20 days to deliver the promised doses.
An RDIF spokesperson said additional vaccine supplies would arrive in Guatemala soon.
“Another plane with Sputnik V is expected to arrive in Guatemala this week, with the next arriving early next week to continue fulfilling obligations regarding the contract,” Gleb Bryanski, director of special projects at RDIF, said in a statement. sent by email.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has trumpeted the Sputnik V vaccine around the world. He said in March that the country had signed agreements for the production of hundreds of millions of doses abroad. Read more
But Russia had produced only a fraction of it, and its production is far lower than those made each month by Pfizer (PFE.N) and AstraZeneca (AZN.L).
Reuters COVID-19 tracking chart for Guatemala: https://graphics.reuters.com/world-coronavirus-tracker-and-maps/countries-and-territories/guatemala/
Reporting by Bill Barreto in Guatemala City and Andrew Osborn in Moscow; Editing by David Alire Garcia and Daniel Flynn
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.