BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) – Argentina and Mexico will produce the AstraZeneca vaccine against Covid-19 to make it available in most parts of Latin America, Argentine President Alberto Fernandez said after a meeting with company executives involved in the project.
The Argentine government said that an agreement has been signed between the British medical drug company AstraZeneca and the biotechnology company MapScience, a subsidiary of INSOD Group, that includes transferring technology to produce an initial 150 million doses of the vaccine to supply all Latin American countries except Brazil.
On Wednesday, Fernandes said, “Latin American production will be in Argentina and Mexico, and this will allow all countries in the region to obtain the vaccine in the required time and efficiency.”
Later, Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said on Twitter that Fernandez and his Mexican counterpart Anders Manuel Lopez Obrador had made efforts to seal the deal. He added that the output of the vaccine could increase to 250 million doses.
AstraZeneca is the second largest producer of prescription drugs in Britain, with operations in Argentina for a long time. It has signed an agreement with the Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim Foundation to produce the vaccine that is expected to be delivered in the first half of 2021 after studies of the third phase and obtaining the approval of the regulatory authorities.
Ebrard thanked the Slim Foundation for financing the production of the vaccine and said that Mexico will disclose more details on Thursday.
Prepared by Ashraf Rady for the Arabic newsletter – Edited by Amal Abu Al-Saud