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MAY 28, 2021

First 300,000 doses of the CanSino COVID-19 vaccine arrive in Chile

  • Health Minister Enrique Paris explains that difficult-access areas will be prioritized in the distribution of the vaccine. 

  • 21,798,706 SARS-CoV-2 vaccines have been received to date.

The first batch of the CanSino COVID-19 vaccine arrived in Chile today. The vaccine is unique in that it only requires a single dose. 

The shipment of 300,000 doses was received by Health Minister Enrique Paris and Science Minister Andrés Couve, alongside the rector of the Universidad de la Frontera, Eduardo Hebel, and the general manager of Laboratorio Saval, Nicolás Donoso. 

“Today, we have received 300,000 doses of the CanSino vaccine, which only requires a single dose. The vaccine’s response 14 days after being administered is very important from a cellular immunity point of view, as it significantly increases the number of T lymphocytes. At 28 days, results show a significant increase in the amount of neutralizing antibodies. This makes the vaccine safe and effective, with minimal side-effects,” Health Minister Enrique Paris explained. 

The health minister also reported that a second and third shipment of the vaccine is expected to arrive within the next three weeks. Because it only requires a single dose, its use will be prioritized in remote regions where people have difficulty traveling to vaccination centers. “Tomorrow, our trucks will set off for the north and south of the country to distribute the vaccines,” Dr. Paris stated. 

The Science, Technology, Knowledge and Innovation Minister Andrés Couve emphasized the importance of social distancing and hygiene measures in combating COVID-19, while celebrating the arrival of the first shipment of the single-dose vaccine. 

“The CanSino vaccine underwent clinical trials in Chile, which were carried out in regional universities under the supervision of the Universidad de la Frontera. This shows that, as well as producing knowledge that is important for Chile, our universities are also able to contribute to an international issue as significant as the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic,” Minister Couve expressed. 

The Minister added, “it is important to acknowledge everyone who contributed to making this possible, from those who came up with the idea to the more than 3,400 volunteers that have been involved. Special recognition must also go to the COVID Vaccine Scientific Committee, the universities, the Public Health Institute (ISP) and the clinical team.” 

The rector of the Universidad de la Frontera, Eduardo Hebel, similarly highlighted the intellectual and technological capacity that Chile possesses to be able to develop vaccines within the country in the coming years. 

“As rector of the Universidad de la Frontera, I am extremely pleased that scientists from regional universities have carried out clinical trials of the CanSino vaccine. I say this not only for the good of the university, but also to emphasize that leading scientific research can be conducted throughout the length and breadth of Chile, with the fundamental objective of helping people,” Dr. Hebel stressed. 

Dr. Hebel also pointed out that Chile’s universities made a promise to the Health Ministry in 2020 to commit their expertise in many different areas towards the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Vaccination Campaign 

18,222,484 vaccines have been administered to date. Of these, 10,323,751 relate to people that have received their first dose and 7,898,733 to those who have completed their vaccination program. This accounts for 67.9% and 52% of the respective target population. 

The vaccination schedule for the following week, May 31 to June 6, will include young people between 23 and 25 years of age. The schedule will continue for women who are 16 or more weeks pregnant, as well as people over the age of 26 who have not yet been vaccinated. The second dose will also be administered to those who received their first between May 3 and 9.