The Russian vaccine the Nicolás Maduro regime begins administering today (Thursday) in Venezuela is experimental, and contradicting previous statements, teachers will not be amongst the first to receive it.
Last week he promised that school-teachers be amongst the first to be vaccinated, and last night he walked back the promise, saying instead that cops and social personnel, and his lawmakers, will be first.
Maduro confirmed the first shipment arrival of 100,000 doses of the Russian vaccine Sputnik V last Saturday. In total, some 10 million doses will arrive, said last week.
During a press conference broadcast through State channels and radio stations, Maduro stated: “Tomorrow, Thursday, February 18, we will start the vaccination of the health personnel.”
Later he added: “Everything is experimental.” But not only the teachers were left out: Maduro failed to mention that the regime had to go to the opposition-held National Assembly for money to access vaccines (including the Pfizer/ Oxford) under the COVAX mechanism of the World Health Organization.
1. Experimental vaccine
Maduro pointed out to the media that “only the first vaccines are just coming out, and everything is experimental.” However, he clarified that his government approved the doses of Sputnik V “because our scientific studies have proven its total and absolute safety.”
He reiterated that medical and health personnel have priority in the vaccination process. After that, he assured that social personnel who are protecting people in the streets be immunized.
2. Teachers NOT amongst the first
They will be followed by those who make up the security forces and then by high government authorities, including deputies of the Parliament, composed 92% by supporters of his government.
On February 9, Maduro promised that teachers were to be part of the first stage of vaccination. Last night, he did not even mention them.
3. Cilia and Maduro for later
He maintained that both he and his wife, Cilia Flores (she is also a congresswoman), will be vaccinated as soon as possible.
“In the priorities of the arrival of the vaccine, we decide the moment in which we both get vaccinated,” he commented before emphasizing that Sputnik V is “the best vaccine in the world.”
4. Massive vaccination in April
He considered that the country could begin a massive vaccination in April. He also added that other vaccines are studied, but the National Institute of Hygiene is in charge of giving the last word for approval.
Likewise, he also mentioned that at the beginning, the calculations of his government, doctors, and statisticians, gave that the vaccination would start in April since they had considered access to the vaccine.
Despite this, he did not give details about why the vaccination date get forward, nor did he talk about when the doses would arrive or the cost of these vaccines for the Venezuelan State.