Vice President tells of talks to manufacture vaccines here; highlights success of Dominican handling of the pandemic

Vice President Raquel Peña spoke of the international acknowledgment the Dominican Republic is receiving for the management of the Covid-19 pandemic, when addressing manufacturers in the Cibao and northern regions. The Vice President Peña just returned from an official visit to Spain and Qatar. Vice President Raquel Peña is also the head of the Health Cabinet that has been responsible for key decision-making in the health sector and the management of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Speaking at the Annual Luncheon 2021 of the Association of Industries of the Northern Region (Airen) in Santiago, the Vice President said the next step for the country is to ensure that big pharma manufacture Covid-19 vaccines here. She said there are ongoing talks with several pharmaceutical companies.

In her talk entitled “Health, Economic Recovery and Vision of the Future,” the Vice President spoke of the possibility of acquiring new drugs to treat people affected by the virus. “We are keeping a very close eye on all advances in science, including FDA and European Medicines Agency approvals,” she said.

She says the government seeks to strengthen the health sector to better prepare to deal with future health crises.

She spoke of how the Abinader administration has made every effort so that every Dominican can have access to the vaccines, which were acquired directly from the pharmaceutical companies, under contracts drawn up in compliance with the laws, approved by the National Congress and with the sanitary permits to start their application.

She explained that initiatives implemented through the VacunateRD Program, such as house to house vaccinations, night vaccination days, vaccinating people in their vehicles, in shopping centers, restaurants, markets and the 1,300 vaccination centers that are available nationwide, 77% of the original target population has one dose, 64% has two doses and 17% of the population has the third booster dose. She said that 70% of adolescents ages 12 to 17 years have had the first dose and 47% have had two doses.

She mentioned that since the start of the National Vaccination Plan in February more than 13.7 million doses of vaccines have been applied. The government goal is to vaccinate at least 70% of the target population before the end of the year.

Peña said that the support of the private sector has been critical and key for the management of Covid-19 pandemic, after pointing out that thanks to this “we have strengthened the foundation on which we have built the economic recovery of the Dominican Republic”.

The Vice President highlighted in her talk that the successful management of the health crisis has enabled the significant economic recovery. The Central Bank has forecast GDP should close at 10.5% to 10.7% by year’s end, and international reserves are at a record US$12.5 billion.

The Vice President also spoke with pride of how the tourism sector in September and October had set new arrival records, compared to same months in pre-pandemic years.

“Despite the fact that the Covid-19 pandemic caused a drastic drop in foreign investment in at least 25 Latin American countries, the Dominican Republic recorded a historic growth in foreign direct investment in the tourism sector in the last quarter of 2020 and the first quarter of 2021,” she pointed out.

She said that the Economic Commission for Latin America (ECLAC) has just ranked the Dominican Republic first for Foreign Direct Investment in the entire region. She said this is “a clear recognition, not only of the correct strategy applied by the government to contain the pandemic and recover the economy, but also of the political stability, social peace and commitment to transparency in the administration of President Luis Abinader.”

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Vice Presidency

DR1 News

24 November 2021