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Venezuela to buy Sputnik V vaccine to vaccinate 10 mln people

Venezuela has signed an agreement with Russia on the supply of the Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine, the country’s Executive Vice President, Delcy Rodriguez announced on Tuesday.

“Venezuela has just signed a contract for the Sputnik V vaccine, we are in the first phase, when 10 million people will receive the vaccine, and we are already planning this phase,” Rodriguez said as quoted by the Telesur TV channel. Rodriguez added that Sputnik V is safe.

“We are ready to start vaccinations as soon as possible,” she added.

On December 12, Nicolas Maduro Guerra, the son of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, was among the first in the country to receive the Russian coronavirus vaccine Sputnik V.

Russia’s Ambassador to Venezuela Sergei Melik-Bagdasarov, who was present at the vaccination of the Venezuelan president’s son, told TASS that the young lawmaker “was feeling splendid [after the vaccination] and is proud of the chance to test Sputnik V on himself, the world’s first registered coronavirus vaccine which was developed and produced in Moscow.”

Earlier reports said Caracas had received 2,000 vaccine doses in order to take part in the third phase of clinical trials. Venezuelan Executive Vice President Delcy Rodriguez suggested localizing the vaccine’s production in the Caribbean state.

The Venezuelan government reported first two coronavirus cases in the republic on March 13, and a state of emergency was declared on the same day. On March 17, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro imposed the quarantine across the country. Since the start of the pandemic, Venezuela has registered 112,636 coronavirus cases and 1,018 deaths.

Meanwhile, Argentina has launched COVID-19 vaccination with a Russian-made vaccine Sputnik V on Tuesday.

Governor of the province of Buenos Aires Axel Kicillof was among the first ones to get the vaccine shot, Argentina’s Todo Noticias TV channel informed.

The governor left the hospital with a certificate confirming that he was vaccinated against COVID-19.

According to the TV channel, a nurse from the province of Buenos Aires was the first one to get a vaccine jab.

The vaccination campaign will run concurrently in all regions of the country. The major part of vaccine doses from the first batch, 123,000, were sent to the province of Buenos Aires. The capital of Argentina received 23,100 doses.

Earlier, the Russian Direct Investment Fund and the Argentine government signed a contract on the delivery of 10 mln doses of Russia’s Sputnik V. The first batch consisting of 300,000 doses was sent to Argentina on December 24. The day before, the country’s Health Ministry approved the emergency use of the vaccine.

Russia registered the world’s first vaccine against the novel coronavirus on August 11. The vaccine, dubbed Sputnik V, was developed by the Gamaleya National Research Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology of the Russian Health Ministry, and its clinical trials were successfully completed in June-July. The Russian Health Ministry said on August 15 that production of the vaccine had been launched. The third, post-registration, stage of clinical tests began in Moscow on September 7. Volunteers received the first dose of the vaccine on September. As many as 40,000 people are involved in the trials, with 10,000 of them being given a placebo. According to the interim test results, the vaccine’s efficiency exceeds 95% on the 42nd day after inoculation with the first dose in case the patient received the second dose as well.

Header: Nurse Gustavo Rodriguez gives Dr. Estefania Zevrnja a shot of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine for COVID-19 at Dr. Pedro Fiorito Hospital in Avellaneda, Argentina, Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2020. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)

Source: TASS