Last Thursday the Government celebrated arrival in the country 300,000 doses of the Russian Spunik V vaccine against coronavirus and announced that more doses would arrive in January and February.
With this first batch that arrived on the Aerolineas Argentinas Airbus 330-200 plane from Moscow, the State will begin its Vaccination Plan against COVID-19 at the national level. As reported by the Ministry of Health, the 300 thousand doses will be distributed directly to the provinces, according to a quotient based on the number of doctors and authorized health centers, since the priority is on health personnel, who will be the first to receive the first dose of immunity.
According to the strategy designed by the Government, the National Vaccination Campaign against COVID-19 aims to protect first of all the six populations at risk that total 16 million Argentines. According to the stipulated order, the doses will be applied according to this priority: first, health personnel (394,000 doctors and nurses); second, adults aged 60 years and over and elderly people residing in nursing homes (7,124,382 elderly); third, adults aged 60 to 69; fourth, Armed Forces (77,861 military) and security (312,202 troops); fifth, adults from 18 to 59 years of age from risk groups with underlying diseases (7,107,657 people); and finally teaching and non-teaching staff (1,057,136). Thus, 16,073,238 Argentines would make up this large priority group.
AND two large groups would be left out of this scenario: 14,554,190 children under 18 years of age (not covered for now in vaccine trials), and 14,749,335 adults between 18 and 60 years old that do not make up a population at risk as they do not suffer from chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular, kidney or respiratory disease.
Taking out the first group of children under 18 years of age, who number almost 14.5 million and who will not be vaccinated in any country in the world for now until medical research on the safety and effectiveness of vaccines advances in them There are almost 15 million young adults who will not be included in the National Vaccination Plan, at least in the first semester of 2021.
Regarding the doses bought from Russia, so far, the Government confirmed the arrival of 300,000 doses this week. Also, at a press conference, the Minister of Health Ginés González García announced that in January the country will receive 5 million more doses. And that in February they will add 14 million doses of Sputnik V, with a purchase option of 5 million more if it is necessary to reinforce the batch of vaccines. All this will total 19.3 million vaccines as of February, with the option of reach 24.3 million doses to fully immunize 12.1 million Argentines.
In addition, the Government reached an agreement with the AstraZeneca laboratory to purchase 22 million doses in March that will cover an additional 11 million Argentines. But for this, the vaccine still needs to be approved by the Argentine regulatory entity, ANMAT, or approved by the Government, as happened with the Sputnik V vaccine. If so, there would be a total of 33 million Argentines covered against COVID-19 with two doses of vaccines applied each one to March 2021. Recall that according to scientists, both doses of the Spunik V vaccine must be applied with a difference of 21 days to achieve 95% effectiveness. And that the Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccine should be given 28 days apart.
It is also noteworthy that, in the face of recent criticism, the Government once again promoted negotiations with the Pfizer laboratory for its vaccine that it produces together with BioNTech. This vaccine was the first to be used in Argentina for a clinical trial, with 6000 volunteers who participated in it, totaling the largest number in the world who received this inoculation experimentally. Further, The State seeks to reach an agreement with the Chinese laboratory Sinopharm for the arrival of its vaccines in the coming months, as they already did in Brazil this week.
As is the case in most countries in the world, the Argentine vaccination strategy seeks to immunize population groups that have had the highest levels of hospitalization and the highest mortality rates up to this point in the pandemic, which are health personnel, people with comorbidities and those over 70 years of age. The average age of the deceased in Argentina is around 73 years.
Faced with this trend, good news came from Moscow today. The Ministry of Health of Russia authorized this Saturday vaccination against COVID-19 for those over 60 years with the Russian preparation Sputnik V. “The Ministry of Health approved changes in the instructions for use of the drug. Thus, citizens over 60 years of age will also be able to get vaccinated against the coronavirus ”, announced Mikhail Murashko, Minister of Health, on that nation’s public television. Until now, the Russian vaccine, which began to be used massively in the country on December 15, was only being applied to people between 18 and 60 years old.
Murashko stressed that the latest analyzes confirmed that the use of Sputnik V does not pose any risk to older people. Last week Russian President Vladimir Putin admitted at his annual press conference that he could not get vaccinated because his age, 68, did not allow it.
“I follow the recommendations of our specialists and that is why for now I have not had the vaccine, but I will do it without fail when possible,” said the president, who turned 68 on October 7. That aroused suspicion in some countries interested in acquiring the Russian vaccine, such as Argentina, the first to register Sputnik V on December 23, coinciding with the arrival of a plane with the first doses.
I KEEP READING:
New research reveals immunity to coronavirus lasts at least 8 months
New strain of COVID-19: everything we know so far
British scientists began testing a treatment that would confer immunity to those who have been exposed to the coronavirus
The European Union announced the arrival of coronavirus vaccines to all its member states