Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Tuesday the United States would soon distribute millions of doses of coronavirus vaccines across the world, including in Latin America, which is fighting to obtain them because of its citizens amid rising hospitalization rates.
But the question on the minds of many — which countries will get doses first and how fast will they be delivered — remained unanswered as Blinken started his first official trip to the area.
“Sometime in the next week to two weeks we’ll be announcing the procedure where we will distribute those vaccines,” Blinken said at a news conference in San Jose with Costa Rican President Carlos Alvarado Quesada.
President Biden promised to provide 80 million doses to other nations by the end of June. But his government has not provided additional details amid a global contest for vaccines that has left many developing countries far behind the industrialized West.
In Costa Rica, a country of 5 million people that lately imposed nationally driving restrictions to lessen the strain on hospitals overloaded with covid-19 patients, the question loomed large. The two Blinken and Alvarado Quesada were asked whether Costa Rica would get doses .
Alvarado Quesada made clear after his meeting with Blinken and top aides that no firm promises was made yet.
“We look forward to what the United States is going to announce in the situation of vaccines,” he told colleagues at San Jose’s presidential palace. “We expect to be part of those countries that get that.”
In Washington, the supply of vaccines to Latin America from China and Russia has been viewed as a member of a geostrategic contest.
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Some Latin American countries rely heavily on the Chinese-made vaccines, such as El Salvador, Brazil, Chile and Uruguay.
The USA has focused on behalf of its population, dispersing only 4 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to Canada and Mexico while devoting 4 billion to Covax, the global platform supported by the World Health Organization that donates vaccines to nations in need.
The coronavirus initially damaged China’s public image after it turned into the international epicenter of the epidemic, but its lightning-fast supply of its offenses has changed the conversation despite some questions regarding the effectiveness of its jabs.