President shortly after the start of easing one of the longest և toughest blockades in the world Alberto Fernandez promised in December that 10 million Argentines would be vaccinated against Covid-19 by the end of February.
Months later, that promise has not been fulfilled. Only 9 out of 45 million people in Argentina received one dose, of which about 2.5 received the second. Critics say the faster spread of the vaccine could help avoid one of the highest mortality rates in the world as the second wave begins.
Now Argentina is under blockade again to combat the sharp rise in cases that have reached new heights during the winter, with more contagious variants than Brazil or the United Kingdom.
The new blockade has put pressure on public finances, which are stretching to the border, threatening expand the decline which has been going on for three years.
It has created an already toxic political environment as accusations fly through the missed vaccine deadline.
On Monday, Fernandez sued a leading opposition politician, Patricia Bulrich, for defamation after she claimed the government had demanded a bribe from Pfizer, a US vaccine maker, to enter the Argentine market.
“President, you can blame me as many times as you want, but the vaccines have not arrived yet, you have not yet clarified what happened to Pfizer,” Bulrich wrote on Twitter.
Bulrich demanded that Fernandez explain why the contract discussed last year was never signed with Pfizer for more than 13 million vaccines due to arrive in December to “save thousands of lives”. Argentina received the top spot last year after conducting potential clinical trials for Pfizer.
The company stated in its announcement this week. “Pfizer has not received any requests for unnecessary payments. “Besides, the company does not use intermediaries, private distributors or representatives to provide the Covid-19 vaccine.”
Not only has a deal been struck with Pfizer, but a joint venture with Mexico to make the AstraZeneca vaccine locally has been delayed due to a lack of vials, with the first lot due this week. Russia has also failed to deliver its Sputnik vaccine on time.
The Russian vaccine still accounts for half of the 15m strikes delivered to Argentina so far, with the remaining 4 million coming from China’s Sinopharm. This led to accusations by the opposition that the acquisition of vaccines by Fernandez’s left-wing government was motivated by ideological and geopolitical issues, as Argentina was prosecuting in Moscow and Beijing.
Although Argentina is doing better than many vaccines in the region, the problem is the government’s “triumph,” which has greatly exceeded expectations, said epidemiologist Adolfo Rubinstein, a former government health minister who is now in opposition.
“They have increased the vaccine program to epic proportions. “Not only have they failed, but corruption scandals have eroded public confidence and angered many people,” he said. Minister of Health of Argentina He was fired in February after it emerged he had personally helped organize Covid-19 vaccines for state-owned VIPs.
“Unfortunately, the recycling of the epidemic has led to a political split. “Creating a sterile confrontation that should de-escalate,” Rubinstein said. “But the government must move first.”
This toxic atmosphere has complicated government efforts to persuade citizens to stay home during the current blockade. This is especially the case when there are criticisms of unequal treatment. The government’s decision to hold the Copa America regional football tournament in Argentina next month has sparked outrage.
Hugo Pizzi, an infectious disease specialist at the University of Cordoba, says there are only two ways to control the epidemic. “You can only get out of discipline from such a tragic situation. [in obeying rules aimed at preventing the spread of the virus] “Vaccines.” So far, the rapid arrival of vaccines in Argentina may be the most promising outcome, he said, given the lack of compliance with blocking rules.
“This [southern hemisphere] The winter will be hard. I hope [lockdown] “The funds are being accepted by the public, and the vaccines are still being delivered,” said Javier Farina, an infectious disease specialist advising the government, who hopes half of Argentines will receive their first stroke by August, now the fifth.
Although the blockade measures that are currently in place “should last longer if you look only at the sanitation issues, if you take into account everything else, economy: carries a lot of weight. “It will take into account the final decision of the authorities,” he said.
Rubinstein argues that one of the biggest obstacles to Argentina’s success in controlling the epidemic is the fact that “Argentines are different, they respect the rules less.”
Although they initially adhered to the restrictions, և Fernandez’s popularity waned, and in the first months after last year’s eight-month blockade, their enthusiasm for Fernandez ների obedience to the rules quickly faded.
Lock fatigue was compounded by the confusing impulses of the government խոշոր Argentina’s large informal economy, which meant that many had to look for work abroad to pay their bills.
The demographics of Argentina aggravated the situation. Larger people in North Latin America are sicker. New, more contagious versions, especially from Brazil and the United Kingdom, have triggered a recent shock to coronavirus cases.
Despite the alarming situation, Pizzi claims that Argentina is not in a much worse situation than many of its neighbors in a region that is hit hardest in the world. In Paraguay, people donated chairs so people could wait relatively comfortably in hospital yards, he said, while in countries like Ecuador and Peru, “corpses piled up in the streets” last year. “It has never been so bad here.”