Argentina's Fernandez asks Putin to help guarantee vaccine supply

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BUENOS AIRES, Feb 2 (Reuters) - Argentine President Alberto Fernandez has asked his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to help guarantee supply of the Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine to the country, which has been the main focus of Moscow's overseas push to market the shot.

The two leaders spoke by phone on Tuesday, according to a readout shared by the Argentine government, and Fernandez said that the results of the immunization campaign with Sputnik V so far were "excellent, with no adverse effects".

Fernandez has already received the vaccine.

"The President requested the help of his Russian counterpart to guarantee the supply of vaccines to Argentina and Latin America," Argentina's government said. Moscow has flagged potential delays as it ramped up production.

Putin said, according to the readout, that production of Sputnik V was being increased so that Argentina would receive the agreed volume of vaccines.

Scientists gave Sputnik V important backing on Tuesday, saying it was almost 92% effective in fighting COVID-19 based on peer-reviewed late-stage trial results published in prestigious medical journal The Lancet.

Fernandez also asked Putin for his support in the country's talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to renegotiate a failed $57 billion agreement from 2018 needed for the country to make its debt load sustainable. (Reporting by Adam Jourdan; editing by Barbara Lewis)