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Venezuela signs contract to acquire doses of Russian coronavirus vaccine

Venezuela signs contract to acquire doses of Russian coronavirus vaccine
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Venezuela signed a contract to acquire doses of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine, Reuters reported on Tuesday.

The country will acquire enough doses to inoculate 10 million people, Venezuelan Vice President Delcy Rodriguez said, according to the news outlet. The country began administering doses in October as part of a clinical trial.

Venezuela has recorded 112,636 coronavirus cases, according to Reuters, and 1,018 deaths.

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“This is a safe vaccine,” Rodriguez said on state TV, according to Reuters. “It is a step forward.”

The announcement comes as countries across Latin America begin inoculating their populations. Most recently, Argentina began vaccinating people on Tuesday with Sputnik V, and the country is expecting 20 million doses within the next two months.

Russia’s vaccine was the first to be registered in August but has since faced criticism because it was approved ahead of late-stage efficacy trials. The country said in late November that the vaccine was over 95 percent effective, giving it a similar efficacy to the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.