SAN SALVADOR (Reuters) - El Salvador will receive a batch of 1 million COVID-19 vaccine doses made by Chinese company Sinopharm on Monday in a show of strengthened diplomatic ties between the two nations.
This latest batch of vaccines will cover the remainder of El Salvador's target population of 4.5 million people it aimed to inoculate, the government said.
"With the arrival of this batch of vaccines in a couple of hours, El Salvador will exceed 9.5 million vaccine (doses)," Health Minister Francisco Alabi said during a local TV interview.
The administration of President Nayib Bukele recently ratified a cooperation agreement with China following the release of a U.S. government list that labeled 17 Central American politicians, including close Bukele allies, as corrupt.
After the United States released the list, Bukele praised China's $500 million in public investments in El Salvador "without conditions," an apparent contrast to aid from Washington and U.S.-backed lenders that is conditioned on good governance.
The United States has donated 3 million Moderna vaccine doses to El Salvador in partnership with the COVAX global vaccine mechanism.
Before the arrival of the Sinopharm doses, El Salvador had acquired about 8.5 million doses of vaccines by AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Sinovac and Moderna through purchases, donations and COVAX.
(Reporting by Nelson Renteria, writing by Cassandra Garrison; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)