Argentina announces COVID-19 vaccine supply deal with Moderna

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Test tubes are seen in front of a displayed Moderna logo in this illustration taken, May 21, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

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July 8 (Reuters) - Argentina on Thursday announced it will sign a COVID-19 vaccine supply agreement with Moderna (MRNA.O), as the country attempts to speed up the inoculation of its population and sidestep a possible third wave of the coronavirus.

Cabinet chief Santiago Cafiero told Argentina's Congress that a deal would be signed with U.S.-based Moderna on Monday, but did not detail the number of doses being bought or the agreed delivery dates.

Argentina has so far largely built its COVID-19 inoculation program around Russia's Sputnik V vaccine, China's Sinopharm (1099.HK) vaccine and British-Swedish firm AstraZeneca's (AZN.L) vaccine. It has vaccinated 23.7 million of its 45 million inhabitants with at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and 4.9 million people have received two.

As of Wednesday, Argeninta had registered 4.6 million cases of COVID-19 and 97,000 related deaths. The country is at present seeing a decline in cases after a precipitous second wave that triggered fresh lockdowns.

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Reporting by Agustin Geist Editing by Nicolas Misculin and Paul Simao

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