Thursday, February 25, 2021

Coronavirus in Argentina: After the scandal, a list of “VIP” unduly vaccinated unveiled


Former Argentine Health Minister Gines Gonzalez Garcia had to resign due to a VIP vaccination scandal. – JUAN MABROMATA / AFP

In Argentina, the Ministry of Health on Monday published a list of 70 people who had improperly received the vaccine against Covid-19, the revelation of which had sparked the scandal of “vaccines for VIPs”.

This list includes President Alberto Fernandez and members of his cabinet, as well as the Minister of Economy, Martin Guzman, the Argentine Ambassador to Brazil, former President Eduardo Duhalde, his wife and their children, and also the names officials who did not fit into the target population category for the first 1.8 million doses of vaccines received in the country.

A journalist vaccinated thanks to his minister friend

Health workers were given priority for vaccination and the administration of the vaccine to people over 70 in the province and over 80 in Buenos Aires has just started.

This scandal erupted last Friday when a journalist said on the radio that due to his friendship with the former Minister of Health, Ginés González García, who had to resign, he had been vaccinated in the premises of the ministry. by personnel from the Buenos Aires public hospital with 3,000 doses. His confession sparked a wave of reactions and the hashtag #vacunasvip (“vaccinsvip”) appeared on social media.

“These 3,000 doses of vaccines were in no way at the discretion of the ministry,” the new Minister of Health, Carla Vizzotti said on Monday. Argentina, 44 million inhabitants, has more than two million cases of Covid-19 for 51,000 deaths.

Complaints filed

So far, the country has received 1.22 million doses of the Russian vaccine Sputnik V and 580,000 doses of Covishield from the Indian Serum Institute, resulting from a technology transfer from AstraZeneca. The government expects to receive “in the next few days” one million doses of the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine which received emergency approval from the Ministry of Health on Sunday. Some 13 complaints against the former Minister of Health were filed Monday in court but Carla Vizzotti denied the existence of “vaccines for VIP” within her ministry.

“The idea that there is a VIP vaccinator within the Ministry of Health is wrong. What happened was a specific situation, 10 people went to be vaccinated and the president took the necessary measures, ”she said.

At the request of a Buenos Aires prosecutor, police officers showed up at the headquarters of the Ministry of Health on Monday evening to search the register of entries and verify the names of those registered between February 1 and 19, the police said. Argentine press, citing judicial sources.



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