The Minister of Health, Carla Vizzotti, gave a press conference on Tuesday and confirmed that he signed agreements with the pharmaceutical companies CanSino and Pfizer for the purchase of more vaccines against the coronavirus. “Yesterday I signed a binding agreement with the Pfizer laboratory for 20 million vaccines by 2021,” the official reported.
According to Vizzotti, the doses will arrive in the country before December, although the agreement that regulates “logistics issues” is still pending. with the US firm to confirm when the first shipment will arrive.
The minister recalled that Pfizer’s vaccine is one of those licensed for use in adolescents 12 to 17 years of age and pointed out that it will serve to accelerate vaccination in 2021 and think about the strategy for 2022.
“Another novelty is that yesterday I signed the payment of the first 200 thousand doses of the CanSino vaccines,” said the official. The contract includes the purchase of a total of 5.4 million vaccines with single-dose formula produced by the Chinese laboratory Cansino Biologics INC. The first doses will be received “in the next few days.”
The CanSino vaccine adds a new option for the development of the vaccination campaign because it is applied with a single dose and is stored at a temperature between 2 and 8 degrees, that is, it does not require freezing, which facilitates its logistics.
The claim for Sputnik V doses
Carla Vizzotti assured that “There is no conflict with the Russian Federation” due to the delay in the delivery of vaccines, especially the second component of the Sputnik V vaccine. “Russia prioritizes Argentina even in the second component,” the minister explained. What happens with the rest of the vaccines (due to demand, delivery times are delayed) and the difference with the Sputnik vaccine is that it has two different components ”.
“Claim the fulfillment of the contracts, Argentina does it with all the laboratories and with all the vaccines. That means that we are from the beginning among the 20 countries that have received the most vaccines, ”he remarked.
The vaccination campaign
Vizzotti reported that “We are reaching almost 42 million vaccines” received and, of that total, “almost 90 percent has been distributed”. The stock that is still in the central level or distribution process is a little more than 5 million.
“3.5 million are from Moderna’s vaccines, which have been donated by the United States. It is the largest donation they made to a country in Latin America and they have been reserved for adolescents with comorbidities “, added the minister and explained that this group is made up of” around 900 thousand people between 12 and 17 years old. “
The rest of the vaccines, the official continued, are the AstraZeneca doses received this Monday, that have yet to be unpacked and cleared for use, and Sinopharm vaccines that “finished shipping today.”
The minister stressed that more than 30 million doses have already been applied, that “more than 50 percent, one in two Argentines, have started their vaccination scheme” and that “half of those over 60 received their scheme full”.
The drop in covid-19 cases
The Minister of Health remarked that “we have nine consecutive weeks of decrease in cases “ and seven consecutive weeks of decrease in deaths and hospitalizations due to coronavirus.
“This is the second consecutive week without having urban agglomerates in alarm situation -he remarked-. Both the City of Buenos Aires and the metropolitan region are at medium risk and of the 143 departments that we saw at risk, there are only seven that are at high risk and increasing, the others are the same or in decline ”.
Vizzotti stated that “All are very positive indicators”, even if “The average number of cases per month is still 12 thousand cases and we must reduce them.”
“The epidemiological situation is positive, but in no way does it mean that the situation is resolved, but yes that the effort, the vaccination campaign and the work of the Nation, provinces and municipalities is giving results ”, he highlighted.
Trip to the UK
The minister also gave details of her trip to the United Kingdom, where together with the presidential adviser Cecilia Nicolini, they exchanged vaccination experiences with British health authorities and scientists from the University of Oxford and, in addition, met with the Minister of Health, Sajid Javid .
Vizzotti stated that he met with the directors of the AstraZeneca laboratory to work on shortening the delay in the arrival of doses of the vaccine and that, with this objective, Argentina offered the productive structure to increase the manufacture of the active principle of the drug. “They are going to analyze it,” he reported.
The minister also announced that Argentina is going to present the results of the Sinopharm vaccine effectiveness study to the World Health Organization (WHO) “to continue generating and sharing scientific evidence.”