Coronavirus

Vaccine doubts rise in Argentina following president’s infection

vaccine Woman during anti-quarantine protest in Buenos Aires. Photo: Mariano Gaspar/Shutterstock
Woman during anti-quarantine protest in Buenos Aires. Photo: Mariano Gaspar/Shutterstock

Despite taking two doses of the Russian-made Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine, 62-year-old Argentinian President Alberto Fernández tested positive for the coronavirus on Saturday, after experiencing mild symptoms. The information raised doubts about the vaccine’s efficiency and boosted the spread of fake news online, forcing the government to beef up information campaigns on how the immunizer works. 

The Health Ministry immediately reported that Mr. Fernández is among a group of less than 0.2 percent of people that had been infected with the coronavirus after taking the vaccine. The ministry also stressed there is no record of people dying after taking both shots of Sputnik V. Health Minister Carla Vizzotti said data is being constantly analyzed by the government in order to update reports. 

The Russian-made vaccine is developed by the Gamaleya Institute in Moscow and has a proven effectiveness of 91.6 percent. However, health experts reinforce the necessity of maintaining health protocols and the use of face masks even after receiving vaccination.

According to newspaper La Nación science editor Nora Bär, “the real importance of the vaccine campaign is to reduce mortality” and that “one infected person among millions of vaccinated people doesn’t deny the vaccine’s efficacy.” 

As of April 5, more than 4.3 million Argentinians have taken at least one vaccine dose, with Sputnik V making up the majority of immunizers administered in the country.