“August is the month of the second doses,” said the Minister of Health, Carla Vizzotti, by announcing, together with their counterparts from the Province of Buenos Aires, Nicolas Kreplak, and from CABA, Fernan Quirós, that it will be possible to combine the application of vaccines from different laboratories. Since this Thursday, those who received the first dose of the vaccine Sputnik V may receive a turn to be inoculated voluntarily with the second dose of Modern O AstraZeneca. The goal, Vizzotti explained, is “reach September 1 with at least 60 percent of those over 50 with the complete scheme”. “This will give us peace of mind due to the importance of completing vaccination schedules within the framework of the potential risk generated by a predominant circulation of the Delta variant“He specified. The possibility of combining vaccines will be offered to those who received Sputnik V and have not yet received the second dose. Those people will have the option of accepting or continuing to wait for component two of Sputnik. people who have had more time since the scheme began, those over 50 and those with comorbidities.

CABA and PBA have been conducting a study for several weeks to assess whether the combination of vaccines is feasible. These two districts were also joined on Monday by the provinces of Córdoba, La Rioja and San Luis. “It is a collaborative study that we are doing between Argentina and the Russian Federation, with the support of the Ministry of Science and Technology of the Nation and Conicet,” said Vizzotti. The Health Minister specified that “the possibilities are being studied in relation to the different combinations of homologous –same vaccines– and heterologous –different– schemes. A few days ago the Moderna vaccine was also incorporated into this study and they will be incorporated from other laboratories as they enter, such as when the Cansino vaccine arrives “.

The first data from the study, the interim safety and immunogenicity analyzes that were carried out in collaboration with the Russian Fund for Direct Investment, allowed the ministers to announce that the exchange will move forward. For this reason, from now on all jurisdictions will be in a position to implement this strategy according to their planning. The Buenos Aires government, for example, will give a press conference in the next few hours explaining how the process will be. The health authorities of PBA, meanwhile, expressed in dialogue with this newspaper that from Thursday the shifts for the application “Buenos Aires Vacunate” will begin to arrive and that, once received, “each one of the people will be able to choose in the vaccination if they get vaccinated or if they decide to wait”.

The study, as detailed Vizzotti, involved a long road that “was traveled with the endorsement of the expert committee, the National Immunization Commission and the Federal Health Council”, and will continue in the coming weeks. “The sample proposes the incorporation of, at least, a total of 1800 participants from the aforementioned districts –CABA, PBA, San Luis, Córdoba and La Rioja– and includes volunteers over 18 years of age vaccinated with a dose of Sputnik V, AstraZeneca or Sinopharm up to 60 days before enrollment, with and without identified risk factors for COVID-19 who remain in the jurisdiction where the study began until the end of the study, “they explained in an official statement from the Russian Federation and the Ministry of Health.” Robust evidence will be generated, “said Vizzotti.

Kreplak highlighted “the multicenter work and Argentine research that gives us sovereignty and allows us to make good quality, reliable decisions that contribute to the world.” “We have been doing this since the pandemic began and it is a source of pride,” he added. He also explained that, beyond the possibility of combining vaccines, “for now there is no evidence to suggest that the passage of time is causing the efficacy of vaccines to decline“In addition, he thanked” the Argentine scientists “, and Vizzotti added to the thanks” to the volunteers. “On the other hand, he commented that adherence to the tests” has been very high in all the provinces. “

Why didn’t you join Sinopharm

The possibility of combining Sputnik V with the Sinopharm vaccine is still being studied and to obtain results they are waiting at least 28 days to pass. “We have not yet incorporated the Sinopharm vaccine into this strategy. We have enough doses to continue with the homologous schemes and complying with the scheme between 21 and 28 days, “said Vizzotti. He also announced that 8 million doses will be arriving from that laboratory during this month. Quirós, meanwhile, explained that” the Sinopharm it is not included because the data we have to date is not conclusive. We are completing the studies, especially those evaluating cellular immunity. Next week we will have the Sinopharm results in CABA and we will be able to provide the data there. “

The vaccines we have

The laboratorio Richmond announced on Tuesday that this month our country will have more than 3 million doses of the second component of Sputnik V produced locally. At the same time, the Russian Investment Fund confirmed that the partnership with large international firms will allow it to increase the scale of production and solve “completely” delays in shipments (see separate). In this sense, Vizzotti stated: “We have the expectation of the release of a million second doses that were formulated in Richmond for next week, we also have one and a half million vaccinations from Moderna that were reserved that will begin to be distributed and we will also have doses that will be formulated for the fourth week of August, already released with quality control, and we continue to receive the active substance to continue producing component two as a priority “.

Vizzotti also added that in August there is “the expectation of receiving more vaccines from Russia” and that we will receive 3.5 million doses of Astrazeneca. “To reach 60 percent coverage with two doses for those over 50 years of age, the calculation that we have from the Nation is that they need 2.3 million doses. That number is assured, either with doses of AstraZeneca, Sputnik or Moderna and the counterpart Sinopharm scheme. Therefore, we have the aspiration to surpass that mark, “he stressed.

The presidential adviser, Cecilia Nicolini, also announced that the first doses of the Pfizer vaccine will arrive in the country in September. The official indicated that between that month and December, “the delivery of the 20 million doses that have been pre-agreed ”.

The programmatic error in PBA

The Buenos Aires Minister of Health, Nicolás Kreplak, clarified what happened with a thousand cases of vaccines that were wrongly combined. “This is called programmatic error. When you vaccinate 13 million people there is a percentage that is less than 0.01 where some human error can occur,” he said. The positive, Kreplak said, is that in Buenos Aires “we have an information system that is tremendously robust that allows us to know exactly what happens with each vaccine. That is why we were able to use that information and see what there were no episodes of adverse effects“.

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