Argentina launched its vaccination campaign against the new coronavirus on Tuesday with the Russian vaccine Sputnik V, becoming the first Latin American country to use it.
The vaccination campaign, voluntary, will begin with the health personnel at first and will take place simultaneously throughout the country. “The idea is to start vaccination with those most at risk,” said Minister of Health Ginés González García, who spoke of “Argentina’s largest vaccination campaign”, at the time of the launch of the campaign at Posadas Hospital in Buenos Aires.
Nearly 300,000 doses have already arrived in Argentina
Flavia Loiacono, a medical nurse, was the first person to receive the Russian vaccine in this country. Argentina is the fourth country in Latin America to launch its coronavirus vaccination campaign, after Mexico, Costa Rica and Chile, all of which have chosen the German-American Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine.
Sputnik V provides for the application of a second dose 21 days after the first. A first shipment of 300,000 doses arrived in Argentina from Russia on December 24, as part of an agreement that provides for 19.7 million additional doses to be delivered between January and February, with the possibility of purchasing five millions more.
Contracts with other laboratories
Argentina, which has 45 million inhabitants, has recorded more than a million and a half positive cases and deplores more than 42,800 deaths. This country has also signed purchase contracts with the University of Oxford, associated with the AstraZeneca laboratory, and is part of the Covax mechanism of the World Health Organization (WHO).
Negotiations are also underway with Pfizer / BioNTech. Called “Sputnik V” in homage to the first satellite sent into space by the USSR in 1957, the Russian vaccine was developed by the Gamaleïa research center in Moscow. Russia began to vaccinate its population in early December with workers at risk and occupations deemed “priority”. Vaccination of over 60s began on Tuesday.