More than a million doses of Sputnik V vaccine against Covid-19, purchased from Russia by Guatemala, are unusable.
Their expiry date was reached on Monday according to the Guatemalan government, which points to the responsibility of anti-vaccine groups.
“Unfortunately, we have to reckon with a factor (…) which has to do with a rejection of vaccination by a large part of the population”, declared the Minister of Health Francisco Coma, during a press conference.
A lot bought 71 million euros
According to the authorities, the vaccination campaign in this Central American country of 17 million inhabitants has come up against "myths and rumours", and health personnel have sometimes been attacked in certain localities.
The approximately 1,062,412 expired doses of the Russian vaccine - which has not yet been approved by the World Health Organization - are part of a batch of 8 million doses that Guatemala bought in April from Russia for approximately 79.6 million dollars (71 million euros).
Vaccines therefore represent a loss of nearly 9 million euros.
At this stage, only 5.6 million people are fully vaccinated in Guatemala, where 17,000 deaths from Covid-19 have been recorded.
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A fault ?