Argentina and Belarus on Tuesday became the first countries outside of Russia to begin vaccination against the coronavirus using the Sputnik V vaccine, reports the AP.
Why is this important: Although both countries cleared the vaccine last week, Russia has yet to complete advanced studies to ensure Sputnik V is safe, effective, and adheres to scientific protocols.
Details: Vaccination in each country will be voluntary. Belarusian health officials said that “medical staff, teachers and those who come into contact with a lot of people because of their work will be the first to get vaccinated,” according to AP.
- In Argentina – which has received 300,000 doses and is expecting more – health workers will be the first to receive the vaccine, followed by teachers, people with medical complications and people over 60.
In numbers: According to Johns Hopkins University, Belarus has more than 190,000 confirmed cases of the virus and more than 1,400 deaths.
- Argentina has reached nearly 1.6 million confirmed cases and more than 42,800 deaths.