Around 3.5 million doses of Moderna vaccine arrived in Argentina in the small hours of Saturday morning, donated by the United States to combat Covid-19.
Two Aerolíneas Argentinas aircraft flew to Memphis between Wednesday and Thursday where they loaded up for the flights that touched down eventually at Ezeiza international airport.
"It’s a record donation for Argentina, the biggest in Latin America," government sources told the Noticias Argentinas news agency.
"The United States and Argentina are working together as partners to battle against this global pandemic," said US Embassy Chargé d'Affaires MaryKay Carlson in statements to the press, confirming the news.
“We’re proud to be able to deliver these vaccines, whose safety and effectiveness has been recognised, to the Argentine people. This is a unique moment in history, requiring leadership and joint work. The US will continue to lead efforts to construct a safer world protected against the threat of infectious diseases and it pleases us to work in close collaboration with Argentina in this important task," she said in a release.
"The Health Ministry of the Nation formally accepted the donation made by the Department of Health and Human Services of the United States of 3,500,000 doses of the mRNA-1273 vaccine from the Moderna laboratory to continue advancing in the vaccination against SARS-CoV -2 in the Argentine population," read a statement from the Argentine government.
President Alberto Fernández later thanked his American counterpart, Joe Biden, and said that "this donation from the United States government is a very important contribution that marks a path of cooperation."
Biden announced back in May that the United States would donate 80 million doses of vaccine to face global needs.
At the bilateral level the US government has donated over US$4 million in supplies against the pandemic in Argentina. In April Admiral Craig S. Faller, chief of the Southern Command, visited Argentina to donate three field hospitals, search and rescue equipment and other supplies to help combat outbreaks of Covid-19.
Argentina’s government announced last Sunday that it signed an agreement with the American laboratory Moderna for the supply of 20 million doses of its vaccine against covid-19 in 2022.
The Alberto Fernández administration has "signed an agreement with the company Moderna Inc for the supply of 20 million doses of its Moderna Covid-19 vaccine or equivalent doses of the vaccine for administration as a booster," the Health Ministry said in a statement.
Doses of the Moderna shot, which is based on novel messenger RNA technology, should be available “from the first quarter of 2022,” confirmed the portfolio, adding that the deal “opens the possibility” of receiving a donation of vaccine doses from the United States government in the remainder of this year.
According to the government's Public Vaccination Monitor, as of this Friday some 21.6 million people (48 percent of the population) have received at least the first dose of any of the vaccines. Among those vaccinated, 5.27 million (12 percent) have the complete scheme.
Argentina, which has recorded some 4.7 million infections since the pandemic began in March 2020, has now exceeded 100,000 deaths from Covid-19
A day earlier, Argentina took delivery of 765,000 doses of the Sinopharm vaccine – the sixth of 10 scheduled flights bringing a total of eight million shots from China..