Argentina on the right track with vaccination, president says

Buenos Aires, Mar 22 (efe-epa).- Argentina’s vaccine program is moving in the right direction, President Alberto Fernandez said Monday during an event to celebrate the one-millionth shot administered in the country’s most populous province.

“I believe that if we manage to finalize the latest accords we are working on, and in truth we are very prudent about announcing them so as not to create false expectations, we will be able to meet our objective of vaccinating the people at greatest risk before April ends,” he said at Lanus National University in Buenos Aires province.

The original target, March 31, had to be extended because “the world has a shortage of vaccines and infinite demand,” the president said.

Argentina’s health ministry said that 2.35 million people – 5.5 percent of the population – have received at least one dose of the vaccines currently in use in the country: Russia’s Sputnik V, the Chinese-made Sinopharm and India’s version of the AstraZeneca formula.

More than 607,000 Argentines have had both doses, according to the ministry.

“In the majority of cases,” Fernandez said, the first dose confers “80 percent of the total immunity.”

“Those initial doses begin to generate antibodies between day 15 and 20,” the president said, though he added: “Nobody should think that you come out that with full immunity, you must continue to take care of yourself, preserve yourself, protect yourself.”

Buenos Aires Gov. Axel Kicillof described the province’s inoculation campaign as “immense,” consisting of 617 vaccination sites and involving more than 20,000 personnel.

Coronavirus has claimed 54,545 lives in Argentina and the number of confirmed cases exceeds 2.24 million. EFE


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