Health Minister, Ginés González García, reported that four million doses of expired vaccines were found in a refrigerator in the Buenos Aires neighborhood of Constitución. “They are expired vaccines that had not been distributed to the provinces; they were never available to Argentines, "said the official, and also explained that they were valued at $ 1.4 billion (approximately 10 million dollars).
González García said that the Government found out about the situation because a bill came from the refrigerator for storing these vaccines, some of which were bought in 2015. In a statement, Health explained that “in light of this situation, actions were immediately instructed to reactivate the bidding and the necessary procedures for the destruction of expired supplies ”.
The statement added that both the Ministry of Health of the Nation and Sigen "initiated the corresponding actions and summaries." "The cost of the doses is estimated at 1,400 million pesos while the cost derived from storage since 2015 and the destruction is around 19 million pesos," it was officially explained.
During his visit to the Oneto refrigerator, in the Buenos Aires neighborhood of Constitución, the official assured that the influenza and triple vaccines that were found "prevent a few diseases." In that sense, he said that he does not know why they were not used and said that it will be necessary to analyze "the cases that were due to not having coverage.
Also, he argued that "there are many millions of pesos or dollars" lost due to expiration, to which must be added the payment for the time the doses were in the refrigerator and for their destruction, which must be done abroad since Argentina does not have the technology for this procedure.
Regarding the political implications of the finding, González García criticized the previous administration of former President Mauricio Macri, stating that “deep down it was a government that did not care about the people” and, without mentioning it, pointed against the former Minister of Health who became then as secretary, Adolfo Rubisntein, who "is usually on television explaining what to do, giving advice" on the management of the coronavirus pandemic.
“They were never available. We Argentines had bought the vaccine, we paid for the vaccine, it had not been distributed and people had not been vaccinated. I don't know what to call that: it's outrageous without explanation. We had bad vaccination and I don't know what the consequences are, ”the Cabinet member remarked.
González García also recalled that in December 2019 a similar situation was found in a warehouse located in the Buenos Aires town of Ezeiza, for which he declared: "It seems that it was a procedure."
The triple viral vaccine is included in the Official Calendar and a first dose is applied at one year of life and a second at 5 years: it prevents measles, rubella, and mumps. Meanwhile, the flu is also included in the mandatory schedule for pregnant women, patients with respiratory and heart diseases, adults over 65, and health personnel.
"Millions of dollars, of pesos, whatever you want, lost and thrown away, there are around one thousand four hundred million pesos what is in vaccines, there are 7 and a half million doses in Triple, what was paid, and now we have to keep paying, first you have to pay for the time they were here, and then, that's why I come here, for the destruction of these vaccines, because vaccines have very complex substances, caring for the environment, there is no technology in Argentina to destroy them, for which we had to delay a little longer, but today we solve the problem, on an issue that I do not know how to explain it, basically it is a government (the previous one of Mauricio Macri) that is not interested in the people, spending the money of the people, who are spent by the State, so that later the vaccines are not available to the people, simply because they were not distributed, I don't know what that is called, but ... ask the previous authorities who are usually on television explaining that there is What to do and giving us advice ... this has no explanation," GINÉS GONZÁLEZ GARCÍA, Minister of Health of Argentina said.