Argentina was the gateway for the Russian vaccine against covid-19, Sputnik V, to Latin America and the contagion of President Alberto Fernández set off alarms in Moscow. Three days after the Argentine president announced that he had tested positive for coronavirus, his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, called him on Monday to inquire personally about his health. Putin has also made himself available to Fernández, who remains isolated in the presidential fifth due to his mild covid-19 infection, and has guaranteed the shipment of more vaccines.
During the dialogue, Fernández, 62, thanked him for the provision of Sputnik V, the vaccine of which he received one dose on January 21 and another on February 10. The Argentine president attributed the lightness of his infection to the Russian vaccine and stressed that “the results of the immunization campaign are excellent and without adverse effects,” according to an official statement issued by the Argentine government.
His statements are in line with what was expressed in public by the Gamaleya Institute of the Russian Ministry of Health, producer of the vaccine. Last weekend, the Institute clarified that its immunizer does not have an absolute effectiveness. “Sputnik V is 91.6% effective against infections and 100% effective against severe cases. If the infection is confirmed and occurs, the vaccination ensures a quick recovery without serious symptoms ”, reported via Twitter.
Fernández’s immunization was part of an official strategy to defend the Russian vaccine before public opinion, since it had arrived in Argentina weeks before, when it was not yet authorized for people over 60 years of age and had not been approved by the United States or Europe. The president reported that he had contracted covid-19 at midnight on Friday, when he tested positive for antigens after registering a fever of 37.3 and a slight headache. A PCR confirmed the diagnosis the next day.
Delays in delivery
Throughout the half hour of talk, Putin has promised that the supply of vaccines will remain as agreed, but delivery is delayed compared to the initially agreed schedule. On Sunday, a new shipment of almost half a million Sputnik V arrived by plane in Buenos Aires, bringing the doses received to close to 4.5 million, a quarter of those planned for this date.
So far, the government has distributed almost 5.9 million vaccines to all jurisdictions in the country, according to the Public Vaccination Monitor. Behind Sputnik, in number of doses, it is followed by the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine, with which strategic personnel such as security forces, teachers and state personnel are being immunized.
The conversation between the two leaders included an invitation from the Russian president for his Argentine counterpart to visit the Russian Federation to “continue to deepen the relationship between the two countries.”
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Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.