Argentina took delivery of more than 2.1 million doses of the AstraZeneca-Oxford University vaccine against Covid-19 on Monday morning, handing a timely boost for the government's mass vaccination campaign.
Following the arrival of this latest shipment, Argentina has now managed to acquire around 17.6 million vaccine doses since the start of the pandemic.
Air Canada flight AC7326 from Toronto landed at Ezeiza International Airport at 6.45am with a load of 2,148,600 doses in its hold. On hand to receive the shipment was Cabinet Chief Santiago Cafiero and Health Minister Carla Vizzotti.
"It is a very important moment; it is the largest shipment we have received [yet], with 2,148,600 doses," said Cafiero, speaking after the flight had touched down.
The jabs are a result of a joint production agreement signed by the Argentine and Mexican governments with the British-Swedish pharmaceutical firm.
Following a deal struck last August to supply around 150 million shots for the region, local firm mAbxience is supplying the active component and Mexico's Liomont is responsible for bottling the vaccines. Cafiero said that fact was a source of great pride.
"We are receiving these vaccines, which have on their label that a part is manufactured in Argentina. That fills us with pride – the technologists, the workers of science who contribute so much to our," said The Cabinet chief, who said that "the contract with AstraZeneca and Oxford is beginning to be unlocked."
In total Argentina has ordered more than 20 million doses from the firm.
For her part, Vizzotti assured that they are "working" from the national government to "complete all the vaccination schedules of the people who have started," adding that a batch of second doses of the Russian-made Sputnik V vaccine were due to arrive soon.
The minister said that the government's vaccination campaign is at a "very important" stage of "escalation," highlighting that almost three million doses had distributed last week and that another three million shots were expected to arrive this week.
As of 6am Monday morning, more than 15.2 million doses had been circulated across the country, with 12.25 million doses applied. Around 9.5 million have received ther first shot, with 2.8 million having received both shots.
How Argentina's Covid-19 vaccine doses break down:
Argentina has now managed to take delivery of more than 17.6 million vaccine doses: 8,115,745 Sputnik V (6,975,585 first doses and 1,140,160 second doses); 4,000,000 Sinopharm; 580,000 of AstraZeneca-Covishield; 1,944,000 AstraZeneca shots via the Covax scheme and 2,292,200 AstraZeneca-Oxford shots, the active ingredient of which was produced in Argentina.