In a simple way, the Charge d’Affaires of the United States Embassy in Argentina, MaryKay Carlson, announced the donation of 3,500,000 doses of the North American vaccine produced by the Moderna laboratory. In parallel, the president Alberto Fernández thanked Joe Biden the gesture and promised to continue working together. The transfer to Argentina is one of the largest donations from Washington so far and the vaccines arrived on two flights, the AR1097 and the AR1099 from Memphis. Both flights landed this Friday night and in Ezeiza the Chief of Staff, Santiago Cafiero, and Carlson herself were waiting for them.
“Being the trustees of this donation, it represents to us that we have reached 36 and a half million vaccines in Argentine territory and this is the result of the President’s determination to advance in cooperation, with the care of sovereign assets, with the care from Argentina and also from Argentines and Argentines and thus be able to get these vaccines and many more that will be arriving, “said Cafiero.
The why of the donation
North American donations have a triple objective. In the first place, recover ground in the face of the lack of world leadership exercised by Washington and Donald Trump during the pandemic and, secondly, promote global vaccination to prevent the covid from continuing to spread and, above all, from the appearance of new variants. Finally, there is an economic interest: in addition to the donation, the Argentina bought Moderna 20 million doses.
“The pandemic is a warning and, at the same time, an opportunity to move towards more equitable, more inclusive and just societies. This donation from the United States is a very important contribution on the path of cooperation“Said the Argentine president in the text of thanks to Biden.
On the North American side, Carlson argued that “The United States and Argentina are working together as partners to fight this global pandemic. We are proud to deliver these vaccines of recognized safety and effectiveness to the Argentine people. This is a unique moment in history and it requires leadership and teamwork. The United States will continue to lead efforts to build a world that is safer and more protected against infectious diseases and we are pleased to work in collaboration with Argentina ”.
What will be done in Argentina with Moderna’s vaccines
Once the vaccines arrive in the country will be stored pending the authorization of the Anmat, since Moderna still does not have the approval neither for adults nor for minors. It is possible that the word of the North American FDA is awaited that would authorize the application to adolescents during the next week. From that step, a similar one would be given here and this would open the door to vaccinate boys between 11 and 17 years old in Argentina, starting with those with a history of diseases.
The laborious management in the United States was carried out by Minister Carla Vizzotti, the presidential adviser, Cecilia Nicolini, and the Argentine ambassador in Washington, Jorge Argüello. There were long Zoom sessions with three North American laboratories – Modern, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson – and at the same time with the State Department. Finally, the donation is one of the largest on a continental level, compared to Brazil, which received three million doses from the United States (Johnson & Johnson, which is single-dose); Colombia 2,500,000; Peru, two million; Ecuador also two million. They say in Washington there will be more donations in the short term.
The North American contribution was made possible as a result of the DNU signed by Alberto Fernández and which set the guidelines for legal claims and established a guarantee fund against possible lawsuits for damage to health or death. According to the Casa Rosada, the background of the difficulties with the North American laboratories was that they did not have vaccines to deliver because they privileged the application to the citizens of the northern country and that is why there were so many obstacles to signing the contracts. The first laboratory that reached the agreement was Moderna and it is said that In the next ten days the signing with Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson will be completed. The Government is especially interested in agreeing with Pfizer for the provision of pediatric doses and also Johnson & Johnson because it would be combined with other vaccines.
The vaccines against covid that arrived in Argentina and those that will come
In reality, Argentina agreed to a fabulous number of vaccines, including 24 million doses of the Chinese Sinopharm, which also awaits authorization to be applied to minors, because in China it is already used as a pediatric vaccine. In addition, there is a contract with AstraZeneca in which the English laboratory still has to deliver 12 million doses and with Sputnik V that owes 10 million. It must be added that signed with another Chinese laboratory Cansino for the acquisition of 5,400,000 doses and the agreement with Moderna, no less than 20 million to be delivered in the first quarter of 2022. But, in addition, the country is already making progress in the production, both from AstraZeneca, Sputnik and Sinopharm. The quantities will be so large that the essential project is to export them throughout the region. Today, Argentina already produces the influenza vaccine that is applied throughout Latin America.
With the arrival of 3,500,000 doses, Argentina exceeded 35,000,000 vaccines and is in a position to maintain the dizzying rate of vaccination. Everything indicates that the objective of being immunized, with at least one dose, all of the Argentine adults who signed up to be vaccinated is concretized.