First batches will be sent to Russia for quality control, and mass production is expected to start in June.
BUENOS AIRES – Argentina announced that it was the first country in Latin America to produce the Sputnik V vaccine, developed by the Gamaleya Institute in Russia. The first batches produced will be sent to Russia for quality control to be carried out, and large-scale production is scheduled for June, according to the Richmond Laboratory, where the production takes place, and the Sovereign Fund of Russia, responsible for the vaccine.
According to the Gamaleya Institute, Sputnik V is 97.6% effective, data that should be published in scientific journals in May. So far, it has received authorization for use in 60 countries, ten of them in Latin America. In Brazil, 37 million doses were contracted by the Northeast Consortium and another 10 million by the Ministry of Health, but the immunizer has not yet received the approval of Anvisa.
For the executive director of the Russian Fund, Kirill Dmitriev, the start of production on Argentine soil should speed up deliveries to other countries in the region that have also contracted the vaccines. To this end, Richmond Laboratories, which are in charge of production, say that “they will ensure the availability of the vaccine in a short time for the country [Argentina] and the region”. After the announcement, the lab’s shares soared 33.24% on the Buenos Aires stock exchange. Argentina was the first country in the region to approve the emergency use of Sputnik V in December 2020.
“We are very excited about the possibility of producing Sputnik V in Argentina,” said President Alberto Fernández, mentioned in the statement about the start of production. “It will be a great opportunity to move forward in the fight against the pandemic not only in Argentina but throughout Latin America.”
Argentina is facing an increase in the number of cases and deaths, which has led the government to decree a new curfew in some regions and to adopt measures such as the closure of schools. In all, about 2.7 million cases and 59.7 thousand deaths were recorded. Regarding vaccination, 5.5 million people received at least one dose of immunization (12.25% of the total), while 800,000 were fully immunized, corresponding to 1.8% of Argentines.
Source: with Agencies