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ARGENTINA | 24-05-2021 15:43

Argentine officials head to Mexico, Cuba for Covid-19 vaccine talks

Two key officials in Alberto Fernández’s government are travelling to Mexico and Cuba for talks over arrival of new vaccines against Covid-19.

Two key officials in Alberto Fernández’s government have travelled to Mexico for talks over the arrival of new vaccines against Covid-19.

Health Minister Carla Vizzotti and presidential advisor Cecilia Nicolini flew to Mexico City on Sunday for high-level talks with officials and to monitor and inspect hundreds of thousands of shots of the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine.

The two nations have co-produced a 'Latin American' version of the vaccine together, though the process has been hit by long delays. In total, Argentina's government has paid for 60 percent of the total 22.4 million shots it ordered from AstraZeneca, yet has received barely any.

However, around 843,000 jabs, which were manufactured in Argentina and packaged on Mexican soil, are due to arrive this week, hence Vizzotti and Nicolini's trip.

"More vaccines arrive tomorrow: 204,000 doses of AstraZeneca (COVAX). Monday: 843,000 doses of AstraZeneca (produced with Mexico). In addition, this morning a new Aerolineas Argentinas plane departs to Moscow to bring more Sputnik V. We continue vaccinating. Let's take care of ourselves more than ever," Nicolini said in a post on Twitter before her departure.

According to reports, the duo will meet with health authorities, scientists and government officials while in Mexico. Meetings will also address "work on a Latin American platform for preparation and response in public health, addressing the challenges of the pandemic and the health sector in general," read a government statement. 

After their stop in the Mexican capital, the two will then board a plane to Havana, Cuba, where they will hold preliminary meetings to learn more about the development of two vaccines manufactured on the island: Abdala and Soberana 2.

According the government, Vizzotti and Nicolini will explore "the possibility of collaboration between both countries to favour access for the Argentine and Latin American populations to these vaccines, as well as participating in the vaccine production chain."

A separate meeting will also share details of responses to the coronavirus pandemic and detail "good primary care practices.”

According to official government data, Argentina has distributed 12,612,752 Covid-19 vaccine doses so far, with 8,735,231 people having received the first jab, and 2,414,237 having received both shots.

The Health Ministry confirmed 24,801 new infections on Sunday, as well as 375 deaths. The previous day, 32,171 cases and 297 fatalities were recorded. 

A total of 3,539,484 individuals have been infected since the start of the pandemic, while the death toll stands at 74,063. 

 

– TIMES/NA/PERFIL

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