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  • Health workers performing COVID-19 tests, Mexico City, Mexico, August 1, 2020

    Health workers performing COVID-19 tests, Mexico City, Mexico, August 1, 2020 | Photo: EFE

Published 13 August 2020
Opinion

An unprecedented effort will be done to bring Oxford's vaccine to Latin America in 2021.

Argentina's President Alberto Fernandez  Wednesday announced that AstraZeneca Laboratory signed an agreement with the Slim Foundation to produce between 150 million and 250 million COVID-19 vaccines destined for all Latin American countries except Brazil.

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Argentina and Mexico will produce the Oxford University's AZD1222 vaccine. It will be available for the countries of Latin America in the first semester of 2021 and will be distributed equitably among them.

"This production will allow adequate access of the vaccine to the entire region," Argentina's President Alberto Fernandez said.

He also explained that the contribution of the Slim Foundation will allow much more reasonable prices as the estimated cost of each dose will be between US$3 and US$4. Fernandez stressed that the first people to receive the COVID-19 vaccine will be the elderly and other vulnerable groups.

“This is a huge challenge for the national industry and it is also a recognition of the quality of our local laboratories. I want to express my satisfaction, we will be able to have the vaccine in sufficient quantity to cover the demand that must be covered immediately,” Fernandez added.

 

Argentina will fabricate the COVID-19 vaccine's raw material and Mexico will complete the production process. The Oxford's vaccine is based on an adenovirus, a pathogen that infects humans and other animals as well.

“What is good about virus-based vaccines is that these pathogens know very well how to enter our cells, they are really experts,” the National Scientific and Technical Research Council (CONICET) researcher Juan Carballeda said.

The third phase of this vaccine is being tested in thousands of volunteers in Brazil, the U.K., South Africa, and the U.S. Experts of these countries try to improve the new medicine by analyzing for how long its effects remain in the human body.

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