Russia In Close Contact With Argentina Over COVID-19 Vaccine Deliveries - Ambassador
The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and Argentine Health Ministry maintain close contact in connection with the upcoming deliveries of Russia's Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine, but talks are also underway with the country's southernmost archipelago province of Tierra del Fuego, Russian Ambassador in Buenos Aires Dmitry Feoktistov said on Friday.
Earlier in November, President Alberto Fernandez said that Argentina might start vaccination with Sputnik V in January or February 2021. The country is planning to purchase 25 million vaccine doses from Russia from December-January.
"Currently, the Health Ministry of Argentina and the Russian Direct Investment Fund are in regular contact regarding specific parameters of future vaccine deliveries. There cannot be unimportant details in this crucial issue, because it is mass vaccination that dominates hopes for an early victory over the pandemic," Feoktistov said.
In parallel, the negotiations are being held at the regional level, as the leadership of the Tierra del Fuego province has also shown interest in the production of the Russian vaccine.
"At present, Tierra del Fuego directly interacts with the RDIF. As we understand, due to technical and logistical difficulties, joint production of Sputnik V at the province's production facilities requires additional study," the ambassador noted.
In general, the fight against the pandemic has turned into a key issue of the bilateral dialogue, according to the Russian diplomat.
"At the moment, everything related to Russia's Sputnik V vaccine is in the focus of attention of the Argentine leadership, the press and, certainly, ordinary citizens, many of whom would like to be vaccinated with the Russian vaccine, as they write in their letters to our embassy," Feoktistov said.
In August, Sputnik V became the first COVID-19 vaccine registered in Russia and the world. The vaccine is currently going through phase 3 trials in Russia, as well as in Belarus, the United Arab Emirates and Venezuela. The relevant agreements have also been reached with India, Brazil and Hungary. Sputnik V is 92 percent effective, based on data from the first 16,000 trial participants that have received both shots of the two-dose vaccine.