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Montevideo, March 23rd 2023 - 11:40 UTC



Argentina green lights arrival of US-developed vaccines by means of an emergency decree

Saturday, July 3rd 2021 - 11:25 UTC
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Ibarra lead the team which negotiated with US pharmaceutical companies Ibarra lead the team which negotiated with US pharmaceutical companies

Argentine President Alberto Fernández has yet again issued another emergency decree (DNU) which would allow for the purchase of anticoronavirus vaccines from suppliers other than those already cleared to be handled in the country.

The new decree will also allow vaccination to reach teenagers with the Pfizer drug, following demands from parents of handicapped children in that age group, who were not eligible for any other immunizer brand.

But in order for Pfizer to agree to sell their drug to Argentina, the word “negligence” needed to be removed from the national vaccionation law.

Friday's decree is the result of months of confidential negotiations with US laboratories and the White House, it was reported.

It will also open the door to vaccines from Moderna and Johnson & Johnson as well as create a “Covid-19 Repair Fund” with which to afford damage payments to whomever may be harmed by the vaccines.

And last, the DNU states that all State assets will have “sovereign immunity.” In other words, they cannot be claimed as collateral should the government fail to pay for the vaccines purchased in due time, except from royalties for the exploitation of natural resources.

“This opens up three possibilities to receive vaccines: the bilateral agreements we have with different laboratories, the COVAX mechanism, and the opportunity for new donations from different states, especially the United States,“ explained Health Minister Carla Vizzotti.

The new decree is to be published Saturday in the Official Gazette and brought over to Congress next week where the ruling FdT coalition is expected to give it a quick approval.

”The president made the decision to sign a DNU so that Argentina can acquire pediatric vaccines and expand the spectrum of vaccines available to the general population. This DNU that is signed today is the result of an arduous process of negotiations with the laboratories that They had expressed the impossibility of hiring within the framework of the law,“ Presidential Legal Adviser Vilma Ibarra said.

”We have worked hard to reach an agreement in which the wishes of the laboratories are fulfilled but the interests of the Nation are respected,” she added.

Argentina's vaccination drive is thus gaining speed as the new Delta strain has already been detected, although it is not yet dominant. In one week, 1,358,446 doses were applied nationwide.

For weeks and in secrecy lawyers and senior executives of US pharmaceutical companies held talks with a government team lead by Ibarra.


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