Maduro accuses COVAX of failing to deliver vaccines

Venezuela’s president said Caracas is considering demanding the return of the funds transferred

Maduro accuses COVAX of failing to deliver vaccines

Venezuela has not yet received the coronavirus vaccine from the international mechanism COVAX and it’s considering the possibility of demanding the return of transferred funds. President of the Republic Nicolas Maduro said on Sunday.

“The mechanism of COVAX has failed Venezuela. And we can’t get a response from them. I have given clear instructions to the executive vice president to take action this week and give an ultimatum to the COVAX mechanism – either they send us the vaccines or they give us the money back”, –  he said during a speech that was broadcast on Venezolana de Television.

According to Maduro, Venezuela has transferred all the necessary money to COVAX. “Someone had a hand in ensuring that Venezuela does not get the vaccine,” said the head of state.

Earlier, Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza said that the UBS bank blocked more than $4.6 million in payments to the Venezuelan government for the delivery of vaccines under COVAX. The country had to pay $120 million to receive 11 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine.

COVAX is an international mechanism launched by WHO together with the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovation. Under the terms of the programme, high-income countries pay for vaccines for less well-off countries. The mechanism is scheduled to produce and distribute 2 billion doses of vaccines evenly around the world by the end of 2021.

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