El Salvador’s Bukele says he’ll donate vaccines to Honduras

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador — Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele said Monday he will donate coronavirus vaccines to seven towns in Honduras even though his own country’s vaccination effort is still struggling.

El Salvador has administered about 1.25 million shots, not nearly enough for the country’s 6.5 million people.

But Bukele was apparently touched by appeals made by the mayors of seven towns in neighboring Honduras who asked El Salvador for help, claiming their own government has abandoned them.

Bukele said that because more shipments of vaccines were due to arrive soon, the donations would not affect El Salvador’s vaccination drive.

“The scheduled vaccine shipments we will receive leave us enough room to donate some,” Bukele wrote in his Twitter account.

Bukele has been known for staking out populist or self-aggrandizing positions in the past.

Health Minister Francisco Alabí is to meet with the Honduran mayors Tuesday. It is unclear how many doses the donation would include.

The mayor of San José Colinas in Honduras, Amable de Jesús Hernández, said in a video posted by the mayors that “our people are dying of COVID, our government isn’t helping us, and that is why we are appealing to you.”

El Salvador has suffered 2,305 deaths from COVID-19.