Argentina agrees deal for 22 million doses of AstraZeneca-Oxford COVID-19 vaccine

FILE PHOTO: A test tube labelled with the Vaccine is seen in front of AstraZeneca logo in this illustration taken, September 9, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Argentina has struck a deal with drugmaker AstraZeneca Plc AZN.L to receive around 22 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine being developed with the University of Oxford, with the aim to start deliveries in the first half of next year.

The drugmaker, one of a number developing vaccines worldwide to fight the novel coronavirus, said in a statement circulated by the government on Saturday that the delivery time-frame depended on ongoing trials being successful and obtaining necessary approvals by regulatory authorities.

Argentina, which is starting to see new cases slow, is hoping to receive some 10 million doses of Russia's Sputnik V vaccine and a smaller number of doses of Pfizer Inc's PFE.N vaccine between December-January.

Argentina is among the world’s hardest hit countries, despite imposing a strict lockdown back in March. It has logged 1.23 million cases of the disease and 33,136 deaths.

Regulators have yet to approve a vaccine for COVID-19 but large global trials are well underway and early results are expected in November and December. Argentina is helping to produce the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine for Latin America.

Reporting by Nicolas Misculin; Editing by Adam Jourdan and Diane Craft