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Weekly Report - 27 May 2021 (WR-21-21)

ARGENTINA: Vaccine politicisation

Argentina’s health minister, Carla Vizzotti, participated in the morning press conference of Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador on 25 May to confirm the arrival in both countries this weekend, after months of delay, of the first batch of AstraZeneca vaccines they have produced jointly. Argentina’s President Alberto Fernández took part in a video call with López Obrador heralding the development as a major boost for Latin America to reduce the region’s reliance on the rest of the world for vaccines to combat the coronavirus (Covid-19). The timing of this breakthrough coincided with Argentina’s Independence Day, but it was overshadowed by demonstrations in Buenos Aires over tough new restrictions to control a serious second wave of the pandemic, as well as a spat between the government and the opposition over the reasons for the failure to acquire the vaccine produced by the US biopharmaceutical firm Pfizer last year.

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