The government took delivery of a new new batch of 732,500 doses of Russia's Sputnik V vaccine on Monday night, lifting the total number of shots received to date to four million doses.
The news was confirmed by the Presidency in a statement, which said the doses had arrived at Ezeiza international airport after a long flight from Moscow. The jabs were transported in a specially modified Airbus 330-200 provided by state carrier Aerolíneas Argentinas. The cargo is made up of 702,400 units of the first component of the Sputnik V vacccine and 30,100 units of the second.
Just one day earlier, the government had received another 517,500 doses of the same vaccine, produced by the Russian laboratory Gamaleya.
Argentina began its mass vaccination campaign on December 29, starting with frontline healthcare workers, followed by those aged over 70.
To date, the government has managed to acquire doses of Sputnik V, the Covishield vaccine from India's Serum Institute (based on the AstraZeneca/Oxford jab) and a shot from the Chinese laboratory Sinopharm.
In total, Argentina has now taken delivery of more than four million doses, well below the government initial target, stated last year, of 20 million doses by the end of February.
"We know that there are difficulties in the production of vaccines. But we know very well the difficulties that the world is going through, due to scarcity and selfishness. Unfortunately, there is a reality: that today 10 percent of the countries monopolise 90 percent of existing vaccines ", President Alberto Fernández said on Monday, during a speech to mark the opening of the congressional year.
"We will continue working tirelessly and we will continue to obtain the vaccines to meet our objectives," the president said, confirming that delivery times were not being matched with those agreed in contracts.