The scandal that broke out in Argentina When it was discovered that politicians and their families obtained “privileged vaccinations” against covid-19, it has become a harder blow than expected for President Alberto Fernández.

A casual comment on the journalist’s radio Horace Verbitsky, who on Friday said that he was vaccinated thanks to his friendship with who was at that time the Minister of Health, Ginés González García, unleashed a wave of immediate repudiation.

Though Fernandez He immediately requested the resignation of the minister and then decided to publish the list of the 70 vaccinated, criticism of his government did not stop and the president shows his irritation.

“Let’s end the clowning: there is no criminal type in Argentina that says ‘the person who vaccinates someone who went ahead in line will be punished'” exclaimed Fernandez this Tuesday in Mexico, where he is visiting, reacting to judicial complaints and a raid on the Ministry of Health.

Vaccine Shortage

For political scientist Enrique Zuleta, the scandal took flight because, in addition to ethical questions, the government faces the problem that there are not enough vaccines to immunize the population.

In the midst of the shortage, the inoculation of relatives “becomes a snowball because it had to focus on the target population, which means knowing well the level of responsibility and the level of severity of each person to be immunized,” said Zuleta .

Since December Argentina, with 44 million inhabitants, has received 1.8 million doses of vaccines against covid-19, from Russia and India, intended for health personnel and the elderly. One million more are expected to arrive this week from China.

But the figure is much lower than what had been announced, because by the end of February, 20 million doses of the Russian Sputnik V were expected to be available, to which the AztraZeneca and Covax vaccines would be added for a total of 50 million.

After the list of the 70 privileged vaccinates was published, among which there are people over 60 years old -among them the president- but also young people like the Minister of Economy Martín Guzmán, 38 years old, Fernández justified that it was “strategic” to attend some senior officials because of their responsibilities.

Fernández was among the first to receive the Sputnik V dose and did it before cameras to convey confidence in the Russian vaccine.

“The problem is that if the government had published the vaccination criteria in advance, the criteria could now be under discussion, but not the transparency of the process,” analyst Carlos Fara told AFP.

Pablo Knopoff, an expert in public opinion, considers that “possibly no one in Argentina is going to reproach an older adult for having received the vaccine, but the politician who facilitated it. For the average Argentine the question that matters is where is my grandfather’s vaccine?

Under pressure to get more vaccines in a world that disputes them, Fernández asked this Tuesday to declare the vaccine against covid-19 a “global good” so that it is free of intellectual rights and can be produced freely.

“The problem in Argentina is not only that there is a lack of vaccines, but that they are lacking compared to what was announced that there would be, and people see neighboring countries, such as Chile, that have managed to vaccinate much faster,” Knopoff pointed out.

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