Between "expectation and mistrust"As the newspaper Clarín headlines, Argentina began this Tuesday (12.29.2020) its vaccination campaign against COVID-19 with the application of the Russian vaccine Sputnik V. It thus becomes the the first country in America and the third in the world, after Russia itself and Belarus, to inoculate its population with the immunizer from the Russian laboratory Gamaleya.
The campaign began simultaneously throughout the country and has as a priority the voluntary vaccination of health personnel, in a first stage. "The idea is to start vaccination with those who have more exposure to risk. It is a true epic to carry out the largest vaccination campaign in Argentina with equal access," said the Minister of Health, Ginés González García, at the beginning of the process. at the Posadas Hospital in Buenos Aires.
There, Flavia Loiacono, a medical therapist, was the first person to receive Sputnik V. Among the first recipients, ex-minister Axel Kicillof was also present, as the local press highlights. Argentina is the fourth Latin American country to begin vaccination against COVID-19, after Mexico, Costa Rica and Chile, who apply the vaccine from the Pfizer laboratory. "We are going to have to continue taking care of ourselves (because) until the vaccine takes effect at the community level, some months will pass," the minister warned.
Sputnik V provides for a second dose to be administered 21 days after the first. The first shipment with 300,000 doses arrived in Argentina from Russia on December 24. The agreement with Russia includes another 19.7 million doses, which will be delivered between January and February, with the option to buy 5 million more.
To immunize its population, Argentina deployed a campaign that will include 116,000 vaccinators in 7,749 establishments and the collaboration of another 10,000 volunteers. Argentina also has signed agreements for the provision of vaccines with the University of Oxford associated with the pharmaceutical AstraZeneca and with the COVAX mechanism of the World Health Organization (WHO). It also negotiates the arrival of the product that Pfizer makes. The Alberto Fernández government plans to purchase a total of 51 million doses of these vaccines.