Putin calls Argentine leader with COVID despite Sputnik shot
MOSCOW (AP) — President Vladimir Putin on Monday called his Argentine counterpart, who has tested positive for COVID-19 despite receiving a Russian vaccine.
The Kremlin said in its readout of the call that Argentine President Alberto Fernández told Putin that he only had minor symptoms thanks to receiving the Sputnik V vaccine. Fernández thanked Russia for offering assistance in fighting the coronavirus and expressed interest in getting additional supplies of the Russian vaccine, according to the Kremlin statement.
Putin congratulated Fernández, who turned 62 on Friday, on his birthday and wished him a quick recovery.
In a tweet Saturday, Fernández said he had a headache and was experiencing a fever of 37.3 Celsius (99.1 Fahrenheit). He said he otherwise has slight symptoms, is isolating and is “physically well.”
The Argentine president received a dose of Sputnik V on Jan. 21 and a second dose a few days later.
The Russian Gamaleya Institute, which produced the vaccine, tweeted that it wished the president a quick recovery, and said the vaccine has a 91.6% rate of effectiveness against infection and 100% against critical cases.
More than 650,000 people in Argentina have received both scheduled shots of the vaccine and only about 1,000 of those have been found to be infected more than 14 days after the final dose, according to national health statistics.
None of the vaccines used against the new coronavirus completely eliminate infections, though they have been shown to sharply reduce the rate of infection and its severity.