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Chile to purchase 2 million Moderna COVID-19 vaccine doses

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SANTIAGO, Jan 24 (Reuters) - Chile, which already boasts one of the world's highest COVID-19 vaccination rates, has agreed to purchase 2 million vaccine doses from Moderna Inc, Chilean interim health minister Maria Teresa Valenzuela said on Monday.

Chile has been hailed as a model for its response to the pandemic, relying mainly on vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech , Sinovac and AstraZeneca for its inoculation program.

"The agreement with Moderna is subject to approval by the Institute of Public Health, which will review the information on safety and efficacy in the coming weeks," said Valenzuela.

The doses will arrive in Chile in three shipments over the next few months, according to the ministry.

Nearly 93% of Chileans 18 years and older have been fully vaccinated and 12.2 million booster shots have been administered among a target population of almost 19 million people.

Chile has begun offering a fourth shot of the coronavirus vaccine, the first country in Latin America and one of the first in the world to offer the extra dose. (Reporting by Fabian Andres Cambero; Writing by Anthony Esposito Editing by Marguerita Choy)