Argentina has officially approved the emergency use of COVID-19 vaccine developed by Chinese pharmaceutical company Sinopharm.
Argentina’s medicine regulator The National Administration of Drugs, Food, and Medical Technology, which is responsible for attesting the safety and efficacy of vaccines, authorized to include the Sinopharm vaccine into the national vaccination plan.
The Sinopharm vaccine becomes the fifth authorized vaccine in the South American country. Others include the Russian Sputnik V vaccine, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine, and the Covishield vaccine produced by the Serum Institute of India.
The government said that one million doses of the Sinopharm vaccine were expected to arrive in the next few days.
“The rate of vaccination begins to accelerate with the arrival of more vaccines in the country,” President Alberto Fernandez stated on Twitter.
“It is the purpose of the national government to ensure that the acquired vaccines arrive in a timely manner as soon as possible to supply them to each inhabitant of this country. All our efforts were, are, and will be there,” Fernandez added.
According to Fernandez, over 700,000 thousand people in the country with a population of 45 million have received the vaccine and 400,000 people received two doses.
The emergency use authorization came just a few days after the vaccine scandal where Health Minister Gines Gonzales Garcia aided people to receive the vaccine even though they were not included in priority groups. The scandal led to Garcia’s resignation and he was then replaced by Carla Vizzoti, who signed the resolution approving the use of the Sinopharm vaccine.
According to data from Johns Hopkins University, Argentina has recorded 2,036,751 cases and 51,359 deaths.