20 April 2021, Argentina, Buenos Aires: A person shows two vials of Sputnik V vaccine against Covid-19. Richmond Laboratory manufactured a first batch of Sputnik V vaccine in Argentina and sent it to Russia for evaluation. The lab intends to manufacture the Russian vaccine for local distribution. Photo: ---/telam/dpa
20 April 2021, Argentina, Buenos Aires: A person shows two vials of Sputnik V vaccine against Covid-19. Richmond Laboratory manufactured a first batch of Sputnik V vaccine in Argentina and sent it to Russia for evaluation. The lab intends to manufacture the Russian vaccine for local distribution. Photo: ---/telam/dpa

Argentina has become the first country in Latin America to start producing Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine against Covid-19.

Pharmaceutical manufacturer Laboratorios Richmond is now producing a first batch of jabs which will then be sent to Moscow’s Gamaleya Institute for quality control, the company said on Tuesday.

Full-scale production will start in June.

Later, the vaccine made in Argentina is to be exported to other Latin American countries.

Argentina also makes the AstraZeneca vaccine, which is then sent to Mexico to be filled.

Meanwhile, Argentina is mainly using Sputnik V in its inoculation campaign. So far, 12.3 per cent of the populace have received at least one dose, and 1.8 per cent are fully vaccinated.

The country is currently seeing a surge in infections, and the government has responded by re-introducing strict restrictions in large parts of the nation.

In the greater Buenos Aires area, a curfew is in effect between 8 pm and 6 am.

All social, sporting, cultural and religious events indoors are banned.

Schools and kindergartens are to close by the end of April.

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