Sumary of Argentina threatens to cancel deal for Sputnik vaccine as Russia fails to deliver:
- Argentina’s gamble on Sputnik V vaccine has left it in a “very critical situation” because of Russia’s failure to fulfill delivery commitments, according to an official letter to Moscow leaked on Thursday.
- Russia owes Argentina 18.5m doses of its Sputnik V jab, over two-thirds of them vital second-component doses.
- This compares disastrously with double-dose vaccination rates of over 60% in neighbouring Chile and Uruguay, countries that did not bet so heavily on the Russian vaccine.
- Its low two-dose vaccination rate leaves Argentina particularly exposed to the arrival of the Delta variant.
- Neighbouring Uruguay, meanwhile, has already approved moving to a three-dose regimen.
- Argentina’s reliance on the Sputnik V vaccine was accentuated by a special vaccination law passed in October 2020 that effectively made it impossible for this country to import US vaccines such as Pfizer or Moderna.
- Argentina has relied instead on a mix of Sputnik, Sinopharm and AstraZeneca shots.
- The political uproar left the government of the Peronist president, Alberto Fernández, little choice but to threaten to end Argentina’s contract with Russia.