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President says Argentina to produce Russian Covid vaccine

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Handout photo released by Argentina’s Presidency showing Argentine President Alberto Fernandez (C) talking in a video conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin to announce the beginning of the local production of Sputnik V vaccine at the Olivos Presidential residence in Olivos, Buenos Aires on June 4, 2021. – The Argentine private laboratory Richmond will be in charge of the fragmentation and packaging of the vaccine, with an initial production capacity of 1,000,000 doses per month, which it expects to increase to 5,000,000 over a period of one year. (Photo by Handout / Argentinian Presidency / AFP)


Argentina President Alberto Fernandez on Friday announced the South American country would begin producing the Russian Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine following a virtual meeting with his counterpart Vladimir Putin.

“Next Sunday, an airplane will leave for Moscow to bring back the active ingredient so production can begin immediately in Argentina,” said Fernandez.

In December, Argentina was the first Latin American country to approve the Sputnik vaccine.

It has been approved in more than 65 countries but those do not include the United States or any in the European Union.

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“We’re delighted with the results from this vaccine because millions of Argentines’ lives have been saved,” said Fernandez.

The private Richmond laboratory will be tasked with producing the vaccine, with a capacity of making one million doses a month to begin with.

The laboratory hopes to increase that to five million a month within a year.

Another Argentine laboratory has been charged with producing the AstraZeneca vaccine, to then be assembled in Mexico, but the process has run into problems that have delayed production.

Argentina has administered 10.4 million coronavirus doses so far, including the Sputnik, AstraZeneca and Sinopharm jabs.

The country of 45 million people has recorded 3.8 million cases and almost 80,000 deaths from Covid.

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