The Inter-American Development Bank is in talks with Argentina and Panama and vaccine makers to provide credit for purchases of about $50 million to $100 million for each country, said Mauricio Claver-Carone, president of the Washington-based institution.They would be the first countries to use an IDB initiative rolled out in March to help resolve vaccine indemnity obligations in contract negotiations with vaccine makers.
Latin America has been among the regions hardest hit by the global pandemic. With only 8% of the global population, it accounts for one-quarter of Covid-19 deaths. In 2020, it was the region that recorded the biggest drop in total wealth, which plunged by 11.4% or $1.2 trillion, according to a Credit Suisse Group AG report.
(Bloomberg) — A key Latin American development bank is helping countries secure Covid-19 vaccines and can deploy about $500 million to fight the pandemic in the world’s most affected region.
The IDB so far has used roughly half of the $1 billion announced in December to help nations with their purchase and distribution of doses. The bank already supported Argentina, Belize, Ecuador, and Trinidad and Tobago with advances to buy vaccines through Covax, the World Health Organization-backed initiative for shots for low- and middle-income countries. The IDB’s efforts are focused on small countries or those with the least self-financing capacity.
The IDB launched the guarantee initiative to help countries reduce the potential cost of liabilities for the widespread use of companies’ vaccines, which Claver-Carone said at the time was proving a stumbling block for direct purchases from producers.
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This week the country passed 90,000 deaths from COVID-19 as it tries to leave behind a painful second wave of the virus. It currently has one of the highest average daily death tolls in the world, behind only Brazil, India and Colombia.
The preliminary study data, released on Friday by the country's health ministry, involved some 450,000 people aged 60 years of age and above who received one or two doses of either vaccine, which are the most widely used in Argentina.
"The first dose generates almost 80% immunity, the second, in general, increases that response and makes it more durable over time," Health Minister Carla Vizzotti said in a statement, adding with a second dose mortality decreased around 90%.
Vizzotti said that the data supported the country's immunization strategy of having a 12-week gap between the first and second shot, saying this was done in order to cover as much of the population at risk as possible with a single dose.
"It was an appropriate decision and the results of this study confirm that high protection has been achieved in the vaccinated population," she said.
BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) – A single dose of Russia's Sputnik V or the Oxford University-AstraZeneca vaccine reduces mortality from COVID-19 by between 70% and 80% in people aged 60-plus, real-world data from Argentina's national inoculation program show.
Argentina's inoculation campaign has been built around the Sputnik V and AstraZeneca vaccines, as well as using Sinopharm and CoviShield shots. The country has vaccinated over 19 million people, of which 3.8 million have received two doses.