Argentina earmarks China’s Cansino vaccine for vulnerable groups

Buenos Aires, Sep 7 (EFE).- Argentina is taking delivery on Tuesday of 200,000 doses of anti-Covid-19 vaccine produced by China’s Cansino laboratory with which it plans to inoculate the most vulnerable groups in society, including homeless people, immigrants and refugees.

So far, about half of all citizens age 18 or older have been fully vaccinated.

The Chinese vaccine requires only a single dose and thus authorities decided to reserve it to “reduce logistical barriers” and provide it to people who are difficult to access with other two-dose vaccines even as the nationwide vaccination campaign continues using vaccines from other providers.

Including these 200,000 doses, Argentina now has received 57,407,120 doses of vaccine targeting the coronavirus since the start of the campaign. Of this total, a little over 15 million doses have been of Russia’s Sputnik V, just under 11 million of which have been first doses and a little over 4 million of which have been second doses, with 702,500 of the latter manufactured in Argentine labs.

Argentina has received some 15.6 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, 580,000 of which were received via Covishield and 1.94 million doses via the Covax mechanism, while about 11.9 million doses came directly from the lab, 400,000 were donated by Spain and 811,000 by Mexico.

In all, 22.9 million doses have come from the Sinopharm laboratory, 200,000 from Cansino and 3.5 million from Moderna, the latter having been donated by the United States.

With the latest shipment, Argentina continues to increase the pace at which doses are arriving and, according to government figures, within the last seven days more than 6.8 million doses have been received, including the 200,000 from Cansino, just under 5 million from China’s state-run National Pharmaceutical Corporation Group and about 1.65 million from AstraZeneca.

Meanwhile, accelerating the vaccination campaign launched last December for the past month and more has been local health authorities’ main priority, especially the administration of second doses.

According to the latest available figures, so far a total of 45.2 million vaccine doses have been administered in Argentina, with 28.4 million people having received at least one dose while 16.7 million are fully vaccinated.

Just as in August, September will be a month devoted to administering second doses, health authorities said.

“Half the people age 18 and up have completed their regimen, just like 75 percent of people over age 50, and 85.6 percent have had at least one dose,” the Health Ministry said in a statement.

Meanwhile, the ministry announced that on Monday the entry into force of the “digital vaccine credential, an official travel document that verifies inoculation against Covid-19.”

The card is available both in Spanish and in English with the aim of allowing Argentines to present it to authorities abroad if they make foreign trips.

The Argentine government has informed foreign ministries around the world, along with immigration and health authorities of the card.

Argentina has been experiencing several months of record Covid-19 infection rates and deaths, all resulting from the second wave of the coronavirus that seems to have been overcome, given that cases have been falling for months after reaching a peak on May 27, 2021, when 41,000 newly detected cases were reported.

In the past 24 hours, 3,893 new cases were reported, bringing the total number of people infected in Argentina to 5,207,695, according to official figures, while a total of 112,673 have died, including 162 over the past 24 hours.

According to the Health Ministry’s daily report, there are 4.9 million people who have been infected with the coronavirus and have been declared to have recovered, while 2,293 people with confirmed Covid-19 cases remain hospitalized in intensive care units, considerably below the 7,969 registered on June 14.

The overall ICU occupation rate – that is, both Covid and non-Covid cases – stands at 42.4 percent, with Buenos Aires and vicinity standing at 43.9 percent.


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