US to send 3.5 million doses of Moderna vaccine to Argentina
The U.S. will send 3.5 million Moderna Inc. vaccines to Argentina on Friday as part of growing donations from President Joe Biden’s administration to developing nations across Latin America, Asia and Africa.
The shipment will arrive Saturday following a bilateral deal by both nations, according to a White House official. The U.S. donation is the largest so far to a Latin American nation and marks the first arrival of highly-effective mRNA vaccines to Argentina.
South America’s second-largest economy, which has reported 4.7 million cases in a country of 45 million people, is in the company of 10 other countries that have suffered deaths of 100,000 or more, according to data compiled by the World Health Organization. This donation is part of a pledge by the Biden administration to ship at least 80 million doses of shots produced by Pfizer Inc., Moderna and Johnson & Johnson.
President Alberto Fernandez’s administration recently signed a deal to buy 20 million Moderna doses which won’t arrive until the first quarter of 2022.
Argentina had to change its local vaccine regulations with a presidential decree earlier this month to allow access to a wider range of vaccines made by U.S. manufacturers. The government has relied so far on more than 32 million doses from Russia’s Sputnik V, China’s Sinopharm and AstraZeneca Plc. Only 11.4% of Argentina’s population is fully vaccinated.
While the government has softened quarantine measures because of a drop in daily cases, it has limited the daily number of travelers that are allowed to arrive in international flights in a bid to delay the spread of the delta variant. Argentina has detected 15 cases of the delta variant from travelers coming from abroad.