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Colombia’s COVID-19 vaccine campaign aims to protect 35 million

BOGOTA, Colombia – More than 56,000 people in Colombia have died of COVID-19 during the pandemic. Colombian President Ivan Duque’s goal is to inoculate about 35 million people this year.

Yellow DHL planes have been delivering COVID-19 vaccines to Bogota since last week. On Saturday, Duque welcomed the arrival of a shipment of Sinovac Biotech from China. The first delivery of the Pfizer-BioNTech doses arrived from Miami in a Boeing 767-300F on Feb. 15.

“I want to thank God; I want to thank science,” Duque said in Spanish, as he stood behind a podium at El Dorado Luis Carlos Galan Sarmiento International Airport.

During the first phase of the vaccination campaign, Duque’s administration is prioritizing front-line workers at hospitals’ intensive care units and people who are 80 years old or older.

On Wednesday, Duque watched on as Veronica Luz Machado Torres, 46, an ICU head nurse at the Hospital Universitario in Sincelejo, Colombia, received her first dose of the vaccine.

“Today begins a new chapter ... This chapter begins with mass, safe, effective, and free vaccination across the country,” Duque told reporters at the hospital.

The COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access program, also known as COVAX, is also allowing Colombia to have access to the British–Swedish AstraZeneca vaccine.

Venezuela also began the COVID-19 vaccine campaign last week after receiving a delivery of 100,000 doses of the Sputnik V from Russia.

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