Yesterday a Colombian air force Boeing 767 arrived in Bogotá from Memphis, Tennessee carrying 2.5 million Janssen vaccines donated by the US government. The single dose vaccines effective against the SARS-Cov-2 virus were transferred after a reception ceremony by President Ivan Duque to the Ministry of Health’s airport warehouse.
Representing the US Embassy, Counselor Mark Wells highlighted “the enormous advances that Colombia has made in its vaccination campaign.”
“The single-dose Janssen vaccine will allow the government of Colombia to provide these vaccines to some of the most vulnerable in the country, increasing the population of vaccinated Colombians by over one third.” – US Embassy
“We congratulate you and your government for having reached the goal of administering more than 17 million doses before the end of June and for having recently vaccinated more than 2 million people in just one week,” Wells said, adding that the US is ready “to help Colombia achieve herd immunity, with a minimum of 70% of its population receiving at least one dose of vaccine by September.”
Colombian President Ivan Duque (above) said that this batch of donated vaccines will be distributed with 1.5 million destined to those 50 years of age and older in Colombia’s largest cities, and 1 million to small towns and rural regions with less than 10,000 inhabitants.
“I want to emphasize that the United States, not only by participating there, is helping a better equitable distribution in the world, but also, with the gesture it has with Colombia today, our country is receiving the largest donation of vaccines it has ever received. in this pandemic, but also the largest that has been registered at this time in the region,” said Duque.
“I want to reiterate our gratitude to President Biden and, also, express to him that it has been a very fruitful job that we have had with his administration, Mark (Wells, Counselor of the United States Embassy in Colombia), not only with you, with the Ambassador (from the United States in Colombia, Philip S.) Goldberg, but also, the conversations we have had with Juan González (Advisor to President Biden for Latin America) at the White House; with Dr. Sullivan (Jacob Sullivan, National Security Advisor); those that we have also had with Secretary (of State, Antony) Blinken; those that we have also had with Dr. Will Burns (Director of the CIA), and now, this gesture, too, which stems from the communication we had in recent days with President Biden,” said Duque.
“And I also want to reiterate that our goals continue to advance. We have already exceeded the goal we had for the month of June, and we had set ourselves the task of reaching 17 million vaccinated. Well, with the data from yesterday we exceed 18 million vaccinated, to conclude the month of June and what we hope is that in this month of July that begins, we will reach 25 million vaccinated, and, without a doubt, Mark, these 2.5 million vaccines are going to be instrumental in that purpose.”