Venezuela payment to COVAX received after funds blocked - Gavi

GENEVA (Reuters) - Venezuela has paid its financial commitments to the COVAX vaccine-sharing facility and will be allocated COVID-19 vaccine doses upon availability, a spokesperson for the Gavi vaccine alliance which helps run the programme said on Thursday.

President Nicolas Maduro said on Sunday he was giving COVAX an "ultimatum" to send doses to the crisis-stricken South American country or return the money Venezuela had already paid.

Venezuelan officials said in June that several payments to cover the $120 million fee had been made, but that the final four payments had been blocked by Swiss bank UBS. Maduro's allies have attributed that to U.S. sanctions aimed at ousting him from the presidency.

The Gavi spokesperson, asked whether the funds had cleared UBS and the issue had been resolved, replied by email: "COVAX has received Venezuela’s payments."

(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by Peter Graff)