Minister of Health Camilo Salinas announced Friday that it has negotiated the delivery of millions of additional doses Covid-19 vaccines from pharmaceutical companies in Russia, China and the U.S.
He said that CanSino will deliver three million doses of its Ad5-nCoV vaccine by July and that Gamaleya will send eight million doses of the Sputnik V vaccine in July and August. In addition, the ministry expects to reach a final agreement for nine million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, with the first shipment arriving in June.
The new agreements for 20 million doses brings to 40 million the number promised from six manufacturers. “We don’t need this many but the uncertainty of shipment dates makes it necessary to have multiple options,” Salinas said. “We will accept the vaccines that can ship the soonest until we have completed our vaccination program.”
Except for Johnson & Johnson, the vaccines require two doses.
Salinas said that there have been delivery delays from Pfizer, Sinovac and AstraZeneca, the vaccines currently being administered in Ecuador, because of mounting infections and deaths in India. “That is a terrible situation, much worse that what we face in Ecuador, so we understand the diversion of doses.”
Court asks Interpol help to extradite Correa
The National Court of Justice is asking Interpol, the international police agency, for assistance in locating and extraditing former president Rafael Correa to Ecuador. Correa and 19 others were convicted seven months ago in a case involving campaign fund extortion and bribery. Judge Walter Macías sent the request to the Quito Interpol office on Thursday.
Interpol had refused an earlier request from the Ecuadorian court to issue a “red alert” for the capture and arrest of Correa, explaining that it did not receive sufficient information and justification for such an order. In his Thursday request, Macías provided additional court documents and evidence used in the conviction.
According to the court’s request, Correa is known to travel widely in Europe and Latin America and is believed to be living permanently in a suburb of Brussels, Belgium.
WHO okays Chinese vaccine
The World Health Organization announced Friday that the Chinese-made Sinopharm vaccine has been authorized for international distribution and use. WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus also said that his organization will probably approve another Chinese vaccine, Sinovac, next week.
“Our research team has found Sinopharm to be safe and effective against the Covid-19 virus and it joins BioNTech-Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Sputnik V and Moderna as the vaccines WHO has tested and approved,” he said.
Due to the health emergency, 65 million doses of Sinopharm have already been distributed to 24 counties. More than 200 doses of the Sinovac vaccine have been shipped, primarily to countries in Latin America and Africa.
Inflation is negative through April
Annual inflation in April was a negative 1.47 per cent, the biggest drop in prices since the National Institute for Statistics and Censuses (INEC) began keeping records in 1987. Through the first four months of 2021, the inflation rate is a negative 1.04 percent. Price declines were recorded for a variety of goods and services, including education, clothing and footwear, restaurants, hotels and recreation. INEC said the continuing Covid-19 pandemic is the main reason for deflation.
In April, the cities with largest drop in prices were Machala, Manta and Santo Domingo, with deflation of -3.01, -2.3 and -1.66 percent respectively. Quito and Cuenca recorded a 0 percent inflation rate.