First 300,000 doses of Russia's Sputnik vaccine arrive in Argentina to fight COVID-19

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Around 300,000 doses of the Russian vaccine Sputnik V COVID-19 arrived in Argentina Thursday morning after the government approved it for emergency use.
On a special flight operated by the airline Aerolineas Argentinas from Moscow, the vaccine reached Ezeiza International Airport in the suburbs of Buenos Aires, according to Reuters witnesses and pictures shown on local television.
Argentine officials said they expect to start administering the vaccine in the coming days. According to official information, 42,314 people in the country have died of COVID-19 so far.
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On Wednesday, Argentina became the third country after Russia and Belarus to approve the Sputnik V vaccine. Argentina has also approved Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine.
The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), the country's sovereign wealth fund, issued a statement announcing the arrival of the vaccine to Argentina on Christmas Eve. According to recent studies, it was 91.4% effective. The vaccine is 100% effective against severe coronavirus cases.
"There were 20 severe cases of coronavirus infection among confirmed cases in the placebo group and no severe cases in the vaccine group," it said.
The cost of one dose is reportedly less than $ 10 for international markets.
Some Western scientists have raised concerns about the speed at which Russia has been working, issuing regulatory approvals for vaccines and initiating large-scale vaccinations before full trials to test the safety and effectiveness of Sputnik V are completed. Russia says the criticism is unfounded.
(Reporting by Nicolas Misculin and Jorge Otaola, writing by Hugh Bronstein, editing by Alexandra Hudson)

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