Lionel Messi has helped secure 50,000 doses of a Covid
vaccine for Conmebol as part of a bold campaign to
inoculate South American players ahead of this summer’s
A deal was reached with Chinese pharmaceutical company
Sinovac after Messi donated three signed Barcelona shirts,
with the deal brokered by Uruguay president Luis Lacalle
Pou, according to The Guardian.
Conmebol official Gonzalo Belloso revealed the deal on
Twitter while posting pictures Messi’s signed shirts.
Belloso tweeted: ‘Sinovac’s directors manifested their
admiration for Lionel Messi, who kindly sent us three shirts
The South American football confederation, Conmebol, are
planning to vaccinate as many players from the continent
for this summer’s showpiece, which is being held in
Colombia and Argentina.
Some of the 50,000 vaccines will be going to Argentina’s
first division male sides.
‘The idea is to vaccinate all of Argentina’s first division
teams,’ said Bellos. ‘We want all football players to be
inoculated before the Copa América because any of them
could be called to play.’
The Guardian are also reporting that the Argentinian
government will first need to approve China’s Sinovac
vaccine first before the doses are administered.
China’s top disease control officials warned earlier this
week that the efficacy of the country’s Covid vaccine is low
and that they are working on a way to improve them.
Uruguay currently has the highest number of new daily
Covid cases worldwide, 1,084 per million inhabitants,
compared to the UK’s 25 per million.
Vaccines are also scarce in countries like Uruguay and
Argentina, which has prompted Conmebol to take action
ahead of this summer’s tournament.
‘Just as the president manifested cooperation with
Conmebol to vaccinate for the Copa America, he could just
as well have the same consideration for Canelones,’ the
mayor of the Uruguayan city of Canelones, Yamandu Orsi,
The Argentinian government is also considering a strong
lockdown in order to halt the spread of coronavirus while
the country waits on the next influx of vaccines, which last
arrived on April 4.
Conmebol officials have also approached Argentinian
government officials to grant special exemption for football
players to receive the vaccine, The Guardian are reporting.
The Copa America, which was pushed back a year due to
outbreak of the coronavirus, will take place from June 13 to