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Paraguay to pass bill authorising purchase of COVID-19 vaccines


Paraguay to pass bill authorising purchase of COVID-19 vaccines

Paraguay covid
Photo: Jorge Saenz/ AP

Paraguay’s House of Representatives will hold a session today to pass a bill authorising the purchase of COVID-19 vaccines.

The extraordinary session occurs amid an increase in COVID-19 cases, high occupancy in the country’s hospitals and a citizen measure relaxation. According to the Health Minister, Paraguay is negotiating with five foreign pharmaceutical companies to acquire up to four million doses of COVID-19 vaccine in early 2021. Authorities are discussing with Russia the possibility of purchasing the Russian Sputnik V vaccine to supplement the COVAX Facility supply.

The lack of early negotiations with pharmaceutical companies has created social discontent as several neighboring countries are already acquiring and begun administering vaccines. Expect Paraguay to hasten the bill’s approval to accelerate the purchase of vaccines to lessen the stress on the country’s health system. Paraguay has limited vaccine storage capacity, which, along with other logistical hurdles, will challenge its vaccine rollout. In the medium-term, municipal elections in October may be influenced by the lack of timely action and the negative effects this will have on public health and the economic recovery.

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