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The Argentine government began administering the second dose of Russia’s Sputnik-V coronavirus vaccine on Tuesday after receiving another shipment of 300,000 shots over the weekend.

Argentina began its vaccination campaign on December 29, with the first 300,000 doses of the vaccine produced by the Russian Gamaleya laboratory.

In this first phase, the healthcare workers are prioritized.

“The vaccination campaign developed quickly,” said Health Minister Gines Gonzalez Garcia.

The 44 million country has recorded more than 1.8 million cases and nearly 46,000 deaths from COVID-19.

Argentina was the first Latin American country to approve the “emergency use” of Sputnik V on December 23, despite a lack of clinical studies.

The government has agreed to purchase an additional 19.4 million cans by the end of February, with an option for an additional five million.

Argentina has committed to purchase a total of 51 million doses and signed contracts to purchase the AstraZeneca / Oxford and Covax vaccines.

Negotiations are currently underway to procure the vaccine from US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer with German biotechnology company BioNTech.

In the next phases of the vaccination program, those over 60 and people with at least two diseases will be given vaccines.

Meanwhile, Chile began immunizing its population on Monday, starting with those over 80 or with chronic illnesses.

Chile began immunizing healthcare workers on December 24th and signed contracts to purchase 30 million doses.

It has reported 670,000 cases and 17,500 deaths among its 18 million residents.

Argentina was the first to approve the Russian vaccine in Latin America

© 2021 AFP

Quote: Argentina will begin administering the second Sputnik V dose (2021, January 19), accessed from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-01-argentina-sputnik-doses.html on January 19, 2021

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