CARACAS, Venezuela

Venezuela’s Vice President Delcy Rodriguez said on Saturday that the government paid $64 million to secure 11 million coronavirus vaccine doses through the global COVAX program of the World Health Organization.

Rodriguez told a national television audience that “thanks to a series of diplomatic and legal efforts,” the government paid more than half of the $120 million purchase price.

Venezuela’s deposit is in line with COVAX guidelines for developing countries. The program requires 25% in advance payment of the total amount.

Rodriguez said the other half of the total is “already guaranteed” and the government will transfer the remaining funds when appropriate.

She did not specify what funds the government of Nicolas Maduro used to pay for the vaccines but said that the payment was in Swiss francs to the Gavi Alliance.

The Gavi Alliance is part of the COVAX mechanism. It is a public-private partnership focused on accelerating the vaccination process around the world.

Before the announcement, Venezuela had secured less than 1 million doses from Russia, Cuba, and China.

The 11 million doses that will come through the COVAX program will be enough to vaccinate 20% of the Venezuelan population.

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