Argentina well being chief requested to resign after VIP vaccine entry | Coronavirus pandemic Information
The scandal surfaced after a veteran journalist said he received a bump after speaking directly to Health Minister Gines Gonzalez Garcia.
Argentina’s president has proposed the resignation of Health Minister Gines Gonzalez Garcia, two presidency sources said Friday after media reports that people could use connections to get access to COVID-19 vaccines.
The scandal, which emerged after a seasoned journalist said he was stabbed after speaking face-to-face with the minister, took a look at wider fears in the region over corruption and access to vaccines, which are in short supply.
The two sources in the president’s office confirmed reports to Reuters that the president had requested Garcia’s resignation.
“The president advised the chief of staff that the health minister should be asked to resign,” one of the sources said.
The Argentine Ministry of Health did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Well-known local journalist Horacio Verbitsky said he was shot after the minister gave him the opportunity to do so.
“I called my old friend Gines Gonzalez Garcia and he told me to go to Posadas Hospital,” the 70-year-old Verbitsky told El Destape radio station.
Since December, Argentina has been using Russian Sputnik V vaccine to vaccinate frontline health workers, although deliveries have lagged far behind those originally hoped for.
The country started vaccinating some people over 70 this week, but appointments are tight and people are supposed to follow a procedure of registering first.
Argentine media have reported several cases where politicians and others who were not among the priority groups received their shots.
A woman receives a first dose of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine as Argentina resumes its vaccination campaign in Buenos Aires on Friday [Agustin Marcarian/Reuters]By Wednesday, around 250,000 people in Argentina had received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. The country of approximately 45 million people has confirmed more than two million coronavirus infections and 51,000 deaths.
The sources didn’t immediately say who would replace the health minister.
‘To be vaccinated’
Earlier this month, Peru’s health minister had to stop before the national vaccination program began, according to reports from hundreds of Peruvian officials and others receiving doses of vaccine outside of clinical trials.
The government has been rocked by charges against some 500 government officials – including former President Martin Vizcarra and top ministers – who have been charged with vaccinations prior to their deployment.
Police raided the Ministry of Health and two university hospitals on Friday to investigate what is known as the “vacunagate”.
“The Office of the Special Prosecutor for Corruption of Officials in Northern Lima has opened preliminary proceedings against those responsible for the alleged crimes against the public administration for the use of laboratory vaccines,” investigators said on Twitter.
Prosecutors and police officers searched for information about the irregular vaccination of 487 people, including former President Martin Vizcarra and top ministers, according to the official list.
The group received some of the 3,200 additional doses made available to the staff responsible for trials of the Sinopharm Chinese vaccine, which 12,000 Peruvian volunteers participated in.