Argentina will be the first country in Latin America to produce the Sputnik V vaccine against COVID-19, announced the sovereign investment fund of the Russian Federation, following an agreement with the Argentine laboratory Richmond.
The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and its partners facilitated the transfer of technology to Laboratorios Richmond in Argentina, a statement said, specifying that large-scale production will begin in June.
“Today we are pleased to announce that Argentina has become the first country in the region to launch Sputnik V production thanks to the alliance between RDIF and Laboratorios Richmond,” said Kirill Dmitriev, executive director of RDIF.
According to him, Sputnik V is approved in more than 10 countries in Latin America and Central America, the production in Argentina will help facilitate deliveries to other partners in the region.
Argentina’s private pharmaceutical company has already produced a first batch of 21,000 doses that it took for quality control to the Gamaleya Center, the Russian epidemiology and microbiology research institute that produced the vaccine.
Marcelo Figueiras, president of Laboratorios Richmond, celebrated the recognition for the choice of the company, based on its scientific and technical platform.
The Argentine laboratory will begin in June with the production of one million doses per month for a year until the construction of a new plant is completed, where it is proposed to reach 5 million doses per month.
President Alberto Fernández considered that the agreement represents a great opportunity to advance in the fight against the pandemic not only in Argentina, but also in Latin America.
The laboratory had the technical and financial support of the Argentine Ministry of Productive Development, which granted it a loan of almost 30 million pesos (about $ 300,000) and will give it financial assistance for another 13 million pesos, indicated a source from the purse.
On December 23, 2020, Argentina was the first country in Latin America to register and approve Sputnik V, a day before receiving the first shipment with 300,000 doses that allowed on December 29 to begin the vaccination process in the country.
At present, the Russian immunizer has already been registered in 60 countries. Its effectiveness is 97.6%, according to the coronavirus infection rate among those vaccinated in Russia with the two doses of different components, between December 5, 2020 and March 31, 2021, the statement said.
Argentina has received almost eight million doses so far, of which almost 4.8 million are of the vaccine of Russian origin. It also has Sinopharm vaccines from China and the Anglo-Swedish AstraZeneca.