Argentina became the first country in Latin America to begin manufacturing the Russian Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine. Over 21,000 doses have been made so far, and the plan is to export the product to other countries as well as beef up the domestic vaccination rollout.
The announcement was made by the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) on Tuesday and will include technology exchanges between the two countries. The first batch will be sent for quality control analysis at the Gamaleya Research Institute in Moscow. If approved, the local development will commence large-scale production in June.
RDIF, Laboratorios Richmond launched production of #SputnikV in Argentina, the first country in Latin America to manufacture Sputnik V. Watch this exclusive video of the first vials of Sputnik V coming off the production line at @richmond_lab facility. pic.twitter.com/zMfQKIWywj— Sputnik V (@sputnikvaccine) April 20, 2021
President Alberto Fernández received the decision with “excitement,” saying “it will be a great opportunity to advance in the fight against the pandemic.”
Argentina was the first country in Latin America to approve the registration of the Sputnik V and used it to start its vaccination program on December 29. As of today, the country received 8.9 million doses. The most recent batch of 800,000 vaccines arrived on Monday. The decision to produce Sputnik V locally comes at a good time: despite starting vaccination in December, the country has administered just 6.33 million doses so far, with just 1.8 percent of the population fully immunized.