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Argentina calls for changing global COVID-19 vaccine patents distribution

Others | June 10, 2021 4:44:31 PM IST
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Buenos Aires [Argentina], June 10 (ANI/Sputnik): Argentine President Alberto Fernandez has raised concerns about the unequal distribution of COVID-19 vaccines among nations and urged the international community to reverse such tendency.

"We are very concerned that 90 per cent of the vaccines that have been produced are in the hands of 10 per cent of countries and that seems to us to be a great inequity," Fernandez said on Wednesday, while speaking at a press conference during the official visit of Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez to Buenos Aires.

The president highlighted Argentina's efforts in starting the local production of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine. In addition, Argentina aims to advance with the possibility of doing the same with the Chinese Sinopharm, as has already been done, in conjunction with Mexico, with the AstraZeneca vaccine. According to Fernandez, this local production will accelerate the process of providing Latin America with much-needed vaccines.

"What we need is a commitment to make the vaccine a global asset and transfer the technology to different countries so that production scales and accelerates, reaching every inhabitant of the planet," he added, after noting that Europe has donated 50 per cent of its vaccines to the UN COVAX mechanism aimed to provide equitable access to coronavirus vaccines globally.

Moreover, the leaders of both countries called for liberalizing COVID-19 vaccine patents and providing all the countries with vaccines. Argentina and Spain are ready to change the world together, they said.

"From the multilateral point of view, Argentina and Spain are defending the liberalization of vaccines, that are considered to be a global public good," Sanchez said.

According to Johns Hopkins University, the death toll in Argentina has risen to 83,272 people, and the number of detected cases to more than 4 million people.

The Spanish prime minister met with the Argentine president in Buenos Aires on Wednesday morning to relaunch the strategic relationship between the two nations. In addition, he held meetings with businessmen and the Spanish diaspora in Argentina, the largest outside Spain. Sanchez is set to visit Costa Rica next as part of his Latin America tour. (ANI/Sputnik)