BOGOTA, Colombia

Colombia on Thursday approved the emergency use of the CoronaVac vaccine developed by Chinese pharmaceutical company Sinovac. 

The National Food and Drug Surveillance Institute (INVIMA) authorized the vaccine for emergency use, said President Ivan Duque, adding the necessary permissions have been obtained from the company.

“INVIMA’s Emergency Protocol was approved quickly. Our experts worked very meticulously and carefully to complete the arrival process of the COVID-19 vaccine in the country in a record fashion,” he said.

INVIMA Director Julio Cesar Adana said the vaccines were imported as a result of the rapid completion of laboratory studies on them.

The country is expected to start vaccinating the population on Feb. 20 and aims to administer the vaccine to 35 million people during the year.

Colombia has registered over 2.13 million coronavirus cases and more than 55,100 deaths, while recoveries exceed 2 million, according to a tally by US-based Johns Hopkins University.

*Writing by Jeyhun Aliyev from Ankara

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