The Ministry of Health says that it expects two shipments of the Sinovac vaccine next week, with 300,000 doses arriving April 4 and 700,000 more arriving April 8. Ecuador’s ambassador in Beijing, Carlos Larrea, who toured Sinovac facilities last week, reported that the shipments are being packed and will arrive on schedule in Quito.
According to Larrea, more shipments will follow in late April or May.
Larrea thanked the Chinese government and Sinovac for prioritizie the shipment to Ecuador, “We have been let down by other countries and pharmaceutical companies so we are very pleased with the Chinese response to our need,” he said. “This will be the largest volume shipment of vaccines we have received so far, the result of the excellent level of cooperation between the two governments working with private vaccine providers.”
He added that China is one of the few countries to respond to the United Nations’ call to provide vaccines for poor and developing nations. “Unfortunately, we have seen a certain level of selfishness during the pandemic and China has resisted this trend.”
As of Friday, Pfizer was the only company to ship vaccines to Ecuador, sending 445,000 since the beginning of the year. The health ministry expects another 1.5 million doses from Pfizer although the date of the shipment is uncertain. The country also received a small shipment of Sinovac vaccines from the government of Chile in March.
Speaking Thursday at the opening of new National Police facility in Guayaquil, President Lenín Moreno admitted his frustration at the slow progress of the vaccination program. “Our optimism was based on promises made by pharmaceutical companies that have not been fulfilled,” he said. “I understand the pressure for vaccines in the rich countries of Europe and North America but I regret the lack of honesty from the manufacturers. Their actions affect the lives of millions, not only in Ecuador but around the world.”
He said he is thankful for companies in China and Russia who are offering to meet the demand. “We have received pressure not to use vaccines from Chinese and Russian companies but their products have been proven safe and effective and our decisions on vaccinations will be guided by what is best for our people, not by politics.”
He said the news of the new agreement with Sinovac was encouraging. “We expect more good news in the near future,” he added.