Accessibility links

Breaking News

Chile Approves Emergency Use of Second Coronavirus Vaccine

A man blows into a vial for a free COVID-19 rapid test at a bus station for long-distance travelers in Santiago, Chile, Jan. 15, 2021.

Chile is getting a new weapon to help in its fight against the spread of the coronavirus.

Health regulators approved the emergency use of the CoronaVac vaccine made by China's Sinovac Biotech Ltd.

Heriberto Garcia, director of Chile’s Public Health Institute, said very encouraging data from late-stage trials and the Health Institute’s independent investigations suggested CoronaVac was a "safe and effective vaccine to fight the pandemic.”

Chile paid $3.5 million to host a clinical trial of the Sinovac vaccine and has ordered 60 million doses of the vaccine, according to Reuters.

Garcia said Sinovac will arrive in Chile at the end of the month. Chile has already inoculated more than 29,000 people with the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine, which arrived in the country late last month.

Leaders of Chile's Public Health Institute are also weighing approval of AstraZeneca’s vaccine for emergency use and have already signed a deal to purchase 14.4 million doses.

So far, Chile has confirmed more than 677,000 COVID infections and 17,573 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center.