In the next few hours, Argentina will receive 3.5 million doses of Moderna, from Memphis, United States, part of the Joe Biden administration donation. This new shipment, which means a reinforcement to the national vaccination campaign – which already has more than 30 million vaccines – could be used at the beginning of immunization for those under 18 years of age.
The Charge d’Affaires of the United States Embassy in Argentina, Mary Kay Carlson, stressed that both countries “are working together as partners to fight this global pandemic” of coronavirus, confirming the donation of 3.5 million vaccines.
“We are proud to be able to deliver these vaccines, of recognized safety and effectiveness, to the Argentine people.. This is a unique moment in history and it requires leadership and teamwork, “said Carlson.
Flights with vaccines
The two flights of Aerolineas Argentinas, AR 1096 and AR 1098, are already at the airport in the city of Memphis, the first arrived at 5.30 this Thursday while the second arrived at 19.52, ready to load the vaccines that will be donated.
In principle, according to the estimated planning, the crew will begin cooling the aircraft during the morning of this Friday to upload the batches to the cellars a few hours later. It is a necessary procedure to avoid that an eventual thermal shock due to the change in temperature from the trucks to the plane impacts on the preservation of the vaccines.
Se foresees that in the afternoon, Aerolineas Argentinas flights will begin their return to the country, to land in Ezeiza at dawn on Saturday.
The terms of the donation are not known either, but according to rumors circulating in Washington, there could be more than 3 million vaccines. Would one of the largest transfers of doses made so far by the country of the North, but the truth will be known at the time of the announcement. So far, Mexico has received 1,350,000 doses from Johnson & Johnson; to Colombia were 2,500,000 doses of the same vaccine, while the donation announced for Bolivia and Paraguay went one million doses to each country.
Adolescents, the next stage
The Moderna vaccines have a main interest of the national government for what will be the next stage: vaccinate under 18 years. So far, only Pfizer is licensed in other countries for children, and Sinopharm that applies only in China. While, Moderna is the one that is closest to being authorized in the United States and Europe to begin vaccinating minors.
That is why the Presidency accelerated the agreement by 20 million for 2022 (planned to function as a “reinforcement), and issued the DNU days ago in view of the United States donation.
What’s more, It is probable that in the next few days the authorization of the Anmat para Moderna will be released. In principle only to apply to adults and, once the United States approves it for minors, it will also quickly seek to approve it for that age range.
The whole process will last several days, with the vaccines already in Argentina. It will be necessary to see what the Ministry of Health decides: whether to wait for approval for minors and start vaccination in adolescents from 11 to 18, or use the millions of doses donated in the elderly in the meantime and accelerate the immunization of the general population .
Beyond the quantities and the range to be vaccinated, the concrete fact is that Argentina will receive millions of additional doses to further strengthen the vaccination process. With each step, he is getting closer to the goal of reaching very high levels of immunization before the arrival of spring.