Colombia says to get 2.5 million Janssen COVID shot donation from U.S

FILE PHOTO: The exterior of Johnson and Johnson’s subsidiary Janssen Vaccines in Leiden, Netherlands March 9, 2021. REUTERS/Piroschka van de Wouw

BOGOTA (Reuters) – Colombia said on Monday it will receive a U.S. donation of 2.5 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine developed by Janssen, the pharmaceutical unit of Johnson & Johnson.

The Colombian president’s office said that U.S. President Joe Biden told President Ivan Duque of the donation in a call during which they also discussed reactivating the economy, jobs, climate change and shared democratic values and human rights.

The South American country has reported more than 4.1 million cases of coronavirus and 104,678 deaths. It hopes to vaccinate 70% of its 50 million inhabitants and has so far administered more than 17.2 million vaccine doses.

“The two presidents expressed the will to work together on a comprehensive agenda that contributes to the security and development of the two countries and of Latin America in general,” Duque’s office said in a statement.

The United States is Colombia’s main ally in the fight against drug trafficking, as well is in tackling illegal armed groups such as former FARC fighters who reject a 2016 peace deal, guerrillas of the National Liberation Army (ELN), and criminal gangs involved in producing and exporting cocaine.

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