Argentina President Alberto Fernandez tested positive for COVID-19 Saturday despite having received Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine earlier this year.
Fernandez self-isolated Friday evening after “presenting a fever of 37.3 [Celsius] and a slight headache,” Buenos Aires Times reported.
— Reuters (@Reuters) April 3, 2021
“To inform everyone, I am physically well and, although I would have liked to end my birthday without this news, I am also in good spirits. I am grateful, from my soul, for the many expressions of affection that you have given me today, remembering my birthday,” the Latin American leader who turned 62 Friday wrote in a tweet, according to the report.
Fernandez will continue to perform his duties in quarantine, complying with the country’s COVID-19 protocols, according to Reuters.
Though the Argentine president is not the first world leader to test positive for the virus, he is the first to receive a positive PCR test result having been fully vaccinated, according to The New York Times.
Fernandez on Feb. 11 completed the two-stage vaccination by Sputnik V, a COVID-19 vaccine developed by a research institute under Russia’s Ministry of Health, the Times reported. (RELATED: 100 Million Americans Have Now Received A COVID-19 Vaccine Dose)
“We are sad to hear this,” the Gamaleya Institute that developed Sputnik V said in a statement, replying to Fernandez’s tweet. “If the infection is indeed confirmed and occurs, the vaccination ensures quick recovery without severe symptoms. We wish you a quick recovery!”
The Russian vaccine showed a 91.6% efficacy rate against COVID-19 in a series of clinical trials, according to Financial Times.
Despite this result, a number of countries, including Poland, Ukraine and Lithuania have called the vaccine’s efficacy into question for its unmatched speed of development and the Russian government’s direct involvement in the process.
The Lithuanian prime minister even called Sputnik V “another hybrid weapon” meant to “divide and rule” Europe, according to Voice of America.