Venezuela launches Sputnik-V vaccination campaign against COVID-19

On Thursday, February 18, Venezuela’s vaccination campaign will kick off with Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine, prioritizing health workers who are on the front line against COVID-19, announced President Nicolás Maduro during a press conference held at the Miraflores Presidential Palace.

“We have approved the Sputnik-V vaccine because our scientific studies have proven its total and absolute safety. We will begin immunizing health workers, members of the 14,000 house-by-house brigades, all the social work staff, law enforcement officers and other authorities,” said the Venezuelan president, who added that the members of the National Assembly will also be immunized.

President Maduro recalled that the pandemic will not be over for a long time, until vaccines in the world prove to be effective, so he called on the population to continue observing biosecurity and preventive measures.

Regarding the COVID-19 vaccines, he pointed out they are being developed and said “there is a vaccine production problem in the world, a vaccine monopolization and hoarding problem. The European Union was promised 300 million vaccines, but not even 10% of them has been delivered. The United States seems to be gaining ground regarding vaccination because they are holding production for themselves. Taking these elements into account, we started planning a mass vaccination campaign for April.”

The Venezuelan president reaffirmed the Bolivarian Government’s will to join other vaccine initiatives in the world to contain the propagation of the virus.

Flexibilization Week until February 21

Regarding the Carnival Holidays, President Maduro said an extensive biosecurity system was developed to face the pandemic via the 7×7 scheme, which has enabled an effective control of the virus.

“We extended the flexibilization week until February 21, to start the 7×7 restrictions on February 22, seven days of radical, volunteer lockdown,” he explained.

Likewise, he highlighted the Venezuelan humanist model to address COVID-19, a model that has been enriched by the experience in countries such as Cuba, China and Vietnam, and criticized the abandonment of the peoples of the South and the United States as it translates into a high-impact sanitary crisis.