For the American newspaper, it is a Russian strategy to capture the market of emerging countries in the fight against coronavirus
“Argentina is a testing ground for Moscow’s global vaccine campaign.” With that title, The Wall Street Journal published a critical note about the vaccination campaign in our country, in which it also advances on the Russian strategy to capture the market of emerging countries in the fight against the coronavirus.
Argentina is today the main country outside of Russia that is vaccinating on a large scale with Sputnik V. This weekend the second doses of the 300,000 vaccination schedules that are being applied to health personnel arrived.
The contract signed with the government of Vladimir Putin establishes the sale of doses to vaccinate a total of 10 million people before February, with the option of 5 million more by March, as announced by President Alberto Fernández when he presented the contract ,. However, there were no details yet on when the delivery of these lots would take place, which would come in different shipments from China and India. So far only Belarus and Serbia are vaccinating with Sputnik.
Regarding the local vaccination campaign, the prestigious US newspaper notes that its launch at the end of December “has raised questions related to the lack of transparency about Sputnik V”, which “aroused certain mistrust among Argentines regarding of your safety. ”
A survey shows that the intention to get vaccinated among Argentine citizens decreases
People’s intention to get vaccinated decreases
In this regard, the Wall Street Journal cites a recent Poliarquía survey, which shows that people’s intention to get vaccinated decreases and that Sputnik V is the one with the lowest confidence indices. 28% of those surveyed said they had “no confidence“Against this drug, against 10% who answered the same about Pfizer’s and 9% about AstraZeneca / Oxford.
He also points out that Argentina began to vaccinate without documentation confirming that the vaccine can be applied to those over 60 years of age. “Among the first Latin American countries to be inoculated, 200,000 people in Argentina received Sputnik, most of them health personnel and other essential workers. Many of them are happy to receive the injection and say that Argentines will be less skeptical as they more doses are administered, “he describes.
One of the worst peaks
The note points out that Argentina suffers “one of the worst peaks” of coronavirus in Latin America, and that initially “it was hoped to ensure vaccines of western suppliers, but it failed to reach an agreement with Pfizer for reasons that Argentine officials did not disclose. The government of President Alberto Fernández has an agreement with AstraZeneca to receive 22 million doses, but the delivery date is not clear. Meanwhile, the Russian vaccine was ready. ”
Thus, at less than $ 10 a dose, it became “a attractive alternative“for the Argentine government,” which defaulted on $ 65 billion in foreign debt last year and whose net reserves are close to zero, according to private economists. ”
In this sense, the newspaper quotes the specialist Benjamín Gedan, director of the Argentina project at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington: for him, the agreement with Moscow “It was a decision born out of the desperation of a government that failed to ensure access to more reliable and effective vaccines for the Argentine population.“.
The article reviews the history of this vaccine, which with its name honors the Russian satellite launched during the Cold War. Moscow approved it for home use before clinical trials were completed, the results of which have not yet been published in a peer-reviewed journal but which, according to information released by the Russian Fund for Direct Investment, is 91.4% effective. . Until now, it has not received approval “from Western health authorities or received authorization from the World Health Organization, which many developing countries depend on to test vaccines.”
Russia started talks with the European health agency, the EMA, and also applied to the WHO. In Russia so far a million people have been vaccinated. Including Argentina, eight countries authorized its emergency use. Here the authorization was made by the Ministry of Health of the Nation. According to a report from Duke University’s Global Center for Health Innovation, Russia ranks third in doses commissioned by low- and middle-income countries, ahead of Pfizer and Moderna.
Russia, one of the great suppliers
The sale of millions of doses of Sputnik V that the Russian Investment Fund is facing, points out The Wall Street Journal, is turning Russia into one of the large suppliers and “could give you a valuable slice of the global Covid-19 vaccine market and potentially geopolitical influence in the developing world.”
With poor countries limited to procuring vaccines and hoping to receive them later this year through the WHO Covax mechanism and Europeans and the United States guaranteeing most of the doses developed by Western laboratories, Russia stepped up its actions “to fill the gap. “. There they appear as potential clients in developing countries, such as Argentina, and a market estimated by Russian officials of $ 100 billion annually.
Russia wants to have a 30% market share of the countries that buy vaccines, and in this line the possibility of a light version of Sputnik with a single dose is included, which is currently being tested. More than a dozen countries have already signed agreements with Russia, including India and Mexico, in addition to Argentina, and according to information from the Wall Street Journal, Russians have already received purchase orders or at least expressions of interest for 2.4 billion doses of their vaccine. .