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Despite Sputnik shot, Putin calls Argentine leader via COVID

MOSCOW (AP) – President Vladimir Putin on Monday called his Argentine counterpart, who, despite receiving a Russian vaccine, tested positive for COVID-19.

During a reading of the call, the Kremlin said that Argentine President Alberto Fernandez had told Putin that he had only had minor symptoms after receiving the Sputnik V vaccine. Fernandez thanked Russia for its assistance in the fight against coronavirus and expressed interest in receiving additional supplies of Russian vaccine, the Kremlin said in a statement.

Putin congratulated Fernandez, who turned 62 on Friday, and wished him a speedy recovery.

In tweets on Saturday, Fernandez said he had a headache and felt a fever of 37.3 Celsius (99.1 Fahrenheit). He said that otherwise he has small symptoms, isolating և “physically good”.

The President of Argentina received the dose of Sputnik V on January 21, and the second – a few days later.

The Russian Gamaleya Institute, which produces the vaccine, tweeted that it wished the president a speedy recovery, saying that the vaccine was 91.6% effective against infection and 100% effective against cases.

In Argentina, more than 650,000 people received the “planned shots” of the vaccine, and it turned out that only about 1,000 of them became infected more than 14 days after the last dose, according to national health statistics.

None of the vaccines used against the new coronavirus completely eliminate infections, although they have been shown to dramatically reduce the rate and severity of the infection.

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