BOGOTA, Colombia

Global efforts to ensure that all countries have access to coronavirus vaccines regardless of their economic standing are beginning to emerge.    

Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, El Salvador and Colombia announced they were chosen by the World Health Organization (WHO) to carry out medical trials with three different vaccines.  

“There are many initiatives from different pharmaceutical companies to test their vaccines. But in this case, it is the World Health Organization which is going to select the three most promising vaccines, and it will carry out clinical trials in 20 countries around the world, six of which are in the Americas,” Colombia’s Health Minister Fernando Ruiz said Tuesday. 

The WHO said in an announcement that as of Monday, 156 high, low and middle income countries had signed up to Covax, an initiative that aims to support the development and equitable distribution of 2 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines before the end of 2021. 

Brazil, Chile and Argentina have also announced that they are joining other global alliances seeking to purchase and distribute COVID-19 vaccines. 

More than six months after the first COVID-19 case was confirmed in Brazil, the pandemic is still raging in the country, which is why at least four vaccine candidates are running clinical trials there. 

Brazil recorded 33,536 additional COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours and 836 deaths from the disease, the Health Ministry said Tuesday. Those figures brought Brazil’s total tally since February to 4,558,040 COVID-19 cases, including 137,272 deaths.  

Mexico’s Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard has said the country signed up for Phase 3 coronavirus vaccine trials with more companies from around the globe.  

While the country’s coronavirus caseload rose to 705,263, the death toll reached 74,348, according to data from the Health Ministry. However, the true figures are likely significantly higher in the Central American country due to a lack of adequate testing.

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