While the Russian vaccine Sputnik V against the coronavirus is already distributed throughout the country, the Minister of Health of the Nation, Ginés González García, referred to the controversy over the negotiation with Pfizer and the alleged “unacceptable conditions” that the US laboratory would have required to sign a contract with Argentina, by ensuring that “it seems that they do not have faith in the vaccine.”
“We do not understand why they have so many demands, it seems that they do not have faith in the vaccine,” Ginés González García shot, in dialogue with radio AM 750.
“If Argentina has been generous with any firm, it has been with Pfizer. We offered them the structure to carry out the clinical study here, there were contractual conditions for which we made a law and there was something in the local law that does not fit with what they want. And the truth is that it is very difficult for us to make another law, apart from the fact that it would not be the most dignified thing for a country ”, argued the minister.
In any case, he clarified, the Government will continue negotiating with Pfizer for the arrival of the vaccine, which has already begun to be applied in the United States and Europe.
Last week, the ANMAT approved the emergency use of the Pfizer drug in Argentina, although it is not yet known whether or not it will reach Argentina. As it emerged, it was the law (27573, “on vaccines intended to generate acquired immunity against Covid-19”) that led to the short-circuit with the company, especially an article that speaks of “negligence.”
Pfizer developed a test in the country in which some 6,000 volunteers, which seemed to put Argentina in a good position in the face of the vaccine.
However, the government eventually chose to seal the deal with AstraZeneca-Oxford and, later, with Russia for Sputnik V.
The distribution of Sputnik V
Meanwhile, the Health Minister celebrated the distribution of the Russian vaccine and pointed out that the country has already purchased 51 million doses and that they are seeking to acquire “20 million more.”
“Historic day. Today we begin the distribution of the Sputnik vaccine to reach each Argentine province, with federal, equitable and proportional logistics, “the head of the health portfolio tweeted this Sunday.
And he added: “The most important vaccination campaign in our history begins, which finds us united, working for a more federal Argentina.”
“This morning the trucks began to leave to distribute the vaccine. At night the last ones that are going to Entre Ríos, Rosario, Buenos Aires leave. Tomorrow (Monday) in the morning the vaccines will be available throughout the country”, he added in radio statements.
The official explained that Argentina bought “51 million vaccines and we want to buy 20 million more” so “there we would have more than 90 percent of the population, we want to reach very high levels of immunity.”
And he advanced: “We will receive 5 million doses in January and 14 million more in February. The rich countries bought 54% of the vaccine production, there is stock when they have 13% of the population. “
In this regard, he added: “We keep looking for vaccines. I had a talk with more providers. We want to reach very high immunity levels. With the first immunity, we will reduce mortality. “
Regarding prevention, González García reaffirmed: “The only concrete, effective and real recipe is to take care of yourself, isolation, put on a mask.”
“In the same way that I hope with the vaccine, we have to be careful, until a high level of vaccination is reached, the virus continues to exist. I am afraid that since the vaccine is already there, people will think that this has already happened. If we do not understand that we will have difficult moments, “he warned.
This Monday, the minister pointed out that “the vaccine has 98% approval and is a protection measure that we will extend to the whole world, now, first to health personnel.”
“The vaccination process takes between 8 and 12 minutes. The challenge is double or triple due to the size and magnitude,” he said.
Arrival of the first doses of the Sputnik V vaccine at the GCBA distribution center in Solis 1958. Photo: Andres D’Elia
The vaccination plan will have different stages and will start with people at risk to develop severe illness and complications from Covid-19 and with those with greater exposure to the virus.
The national government presented this week the “Strategic Plan for Vaccination against Covid-19 in the Argentine Republic”, where it details how the immense operation will be to immunize the population.
As specified in the Plan, the vaccination strategy in Argentina seeks ensure availability of vaccines throughout the national territory, in order to cover the entire target population in a free, equitable and equal manner.
In the criteria for prioritization of people to be vaccinated, depending on the risk of exposure and strategic function, health personnel will be vaccinated (staggered according to the Armed Forces, security and prison service personnel), teaching and non-teaching staff (initial, primary and secondary) and other strategic populations defined by jurisdictions and dose availability.
Then, depending on the risk of developing a serious disease, adults 70 years and older, older people living in long-stay homes, adults 60 to 69 years and adults 18 to 59 years of risk groups will be vaccinated.
With information from Télam.