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  • A health worker waits to enter an intensive care room at the Santa Fe Hospital, Argentina, Nov. 18, 2020.

    A health worker waits to enter an intensive care room at the Santa Fe Hospital, Argentina, Nov. 18, 2020. | Photo: EFE

Published 25 November 2020
Opinion

The government plans to eliminate mortality in the groups at risk first, and then vaccinate the population to cut the chain of transmission.

Argentina's Health Minister Gines Gonzalez Wednesday announced the government will begin COVID-19 vaccination in January, prioritizing those people at greatest risk of becoming seriously ill from the virus.

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"First, we will eliminate mortality in the groups at risk, and then we will vaccinate the population to cut the chain of transmission," Gonzalez explained.

Argentina's Vaccination Committee signed contracts with both the COVAX alliance to purchase 9 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines and Oxford-AstraZeneca to import 22 million vaccine doses. 

Local authorities expect the Russian vaccine Sputnik V and the U.S. vaccine Pfizer to be the first ones available in the country.

"Over 12 million teachers, health care workers, Armed Forces, security services officials, and people who are over 60 years old, will be the first ones to be vaccinated," Gonzalez added.

People under 18 who do not have comorbidities will be excluded from the vaccination program. According to medical authorities, there is no scientific recommendation that they should receive a dose.

"The magnitude of this campaign has no precedent in Argentina. Usually, 40 million vaccine doses are given to the population. In this case, 60 million shots will be provided in a short period," Gonzalez assured.

The Health Minister made the announcements after a meeting held at the Pink House government headquarters between the Vaccination Committee's top officials and President Alberto Fernandez.

 "Our purpose is to vaccinate 100 percent of the Argentine people. The sooner the better," the minister said as he recalled that air and ground transportation will be provided to guarantee the vaccine's distribution.

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