Covid: Stalled Russian vaccines cause global anger

Deliveries of Russia's Sputnik V vaccine have fallen far below expectations.

7/29/2021 7:17:00 PM

Countries across the world say they've been let down by broken promises and stalled deliveries of Russia's Sputnik V Covid vaccine

Deliveries of Russia's Sputnik V vaccine have fallen far below expectations.

Guatemala was one of the first countries to complain that deliveries were not being fulfilled.The government there reserved millions of Sputnik V doses from Russia in April, paying an advance of over $79m (£57m) for eight million doses. But by the end of June, local media reported that only 150,000 had arrived.

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Authorities in Honduras say they were working on a contingency plan following delays, with one minister saying "the supplier failed us".Bolivian media say the country had only received 745,000 doses of a promised 5.2 million by the end of May, with local press speculating Russia might have promised more vaccines that it could deliver.

In January of this year, Mexico and Russia openly celebrated a deal between the two countries' presidents to supply 24 million doses of Sputnik V. But as Mexican media reports, the country has so far received only 4.1 million.In Argentina, an email from one of President Alberto Fernandez's advisers to Russia's RDIF said that as of 7 July, Argentina was still waiting for 5.5 million first doses and 13.1 million second doses of Sputnik V. "At this point the entire contract is at risk of being cancelled," the email obtained by Argentine media said.

image captionSome countries have seen delayed deliveries of Russian Sputnik V vaccine dosesSub-Saharan Africa: Lengthy waits and middlemenIn sub-Saharan Africa, a combination of high prices, delayed deliveries and efficacy concerns have led to distribution delays.

In February, the African Union's (AU) vaccine task team said Russia had offered it 300 million doses of Sputnik V along with a financing package. The RDIF said most deliveries would start in June, and by the start of the month about 11 sub-Saharan African countries had approved the use of the vaccine. However, in early July, few doses were reported to have arrived.

In April, the government of Ghana announced it had secured 3.4 million doses of Sputnik V. As of early July, it had only received 20,000 doses.In Angola, the health minister said at the end of June that more doses of the Sputnik vaccine would arrive "soon". In May, the country received 40,000 doses of the Sputnik vaccine, out of a request of 12 million.

There are also further difficulties in Africa after middlemen increased prices. Kenya ordered a halt on Sputnik V use in April, after it emerged the vaccine was distributed to private companies that charged up to $70 a dose.What's gone wrong?Despite ambitious plans to roll out Sputnik V across the world, Russia is finding it difficult to produce enough for its own citizens.

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