Health Minister Carla Vizzotti has confirmed that Argentina will receive almost four million doses of the AstraZeneca-Oxford University Covid-19 vaccine in May.
A total of 3,960,000 vaccine doses are expected to arrive this month, a move that could "change the course of the second wave of the pandemic in Argentina," said Vizzotti in a statement.
Argentina has currently administered around 9.5 million vaccine doses so far out of a population of around 45 million. A total of 7.9 million of those have received the first dose and just 1.6 million had received their second.
Vizzotti said “undoubtedly this is the beginning of a new stage after all the national government’s efforts through various processes to obtain vaccines and be able to continue giving first doses and complete courses."
The official, who was ushered in after the VIP vaccine scandal broke in February this year, added that if AstraZeneca follows through with the proposed delivery schedule, it will be possible to vaccinate all of Argentina's priority groups
The majority of the vaccines, created by the British-Swedish pharmaceutical firm and researchers from the University of Oxford, will be provided under the framework of the November 2020 contract between the state and AstraZeneca. Argentina initially ordered a total of 22.4 million doses.
Of the near four million doses arriving this month, 861,600 doses will be provided via the Covax scheme, an initiative organised by the World Health Organisation (WHO) that ensures countries with fewer resources receive Covid-19 vaccines.
Speaking in Paris, President Alberto Fernandez, said “the arrival of these four million doses before the end of the month has calmed me.”
The Peronist leader is currently completing a tour around Europe to gain support in financial negotiations with the IMF and Paris Club as well as the release of vaccine patents.
On Thursday morning, the Health Ministry confirmed that a new dose of 500,000 doses of the Russian-made Sputnik V vaccine had arrived at Ezeiza International Airport, the second shipment from Moscow to arrive this week.
The arrival of the Covid-19 vaccine doses, which arrived on the 15th flight by state carrier Aerolíneas Argentinas to the Russian capital since the start of the pandemic, means that Argentina has taken delivery of one million shots of Sputnik V this week.
— TIMES / NA / PERFIL