Dec 29, 2020 - World

Argentina, Belarus become first countries outside Russia to deploy Sputnik V vaccine

Picture of a health worker in Argentina receiving the Russian coronavirus vaccine
Photo: Ronaldo Schmeidt/AFP via Getty Images

Argentina and Belarus on Tuesday became the first countries outside of Russia to begin coronavirus vaccinations using the Sputnik V vaccine, AP reports.

Why it matters: Although both countries authorized the vaccine last week, Russia has yet to complete advanced studies to ensure that Sputnik V is safe, effective and adheres to scientific protocols.

Details: Immunization in each countries will be voluntary. Belarus health officials said "medical staff, teachers, and those who come into contact a lot of people due to their jobs will be the first to get vaccinated," per AP.

  • In Argentina — which has received 300,000 doses and is expecting more — health care workers will be the first to receive the vaccine, followed by teachers, those with complicating medical conditions, and people over 60 years old.

By the numbers: According to Johns Hopkins University, Belarus has over 190,000 confirmed virus cases and more than 1,400 deaths.

  • Argentina has reached almost 1.6 million confirmed cases and more than 42,800 deaths.
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