The experts who closely follow the negotiations in the United States have been warning Clarion months ago: all the Argentine negotiations in Washington to get vaccines they were going to crash into the same wall: without a legal framework, nothing. Now, with the decree signed by President Alberto Fernández, Argentina will be able to unlock the donations that the Joe Biden administration is offering to the world. You could receive about 2.5 million doses, according to sources confided to this correspondent.
The White House had announced in recent weeks a series of millionaire shipments of vaccines for several Latin American countries and Argentina, despite its complicated health situation, was left out of the deal because it did not have the proper regulatory framework. The three brands offered by the US – Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson – do not have a contract in our country. Although Pfizer has a green light from the ANMAT, Moderna and J&J have not received authorization from the health agency.
Washington had announced the donation of more than 13 million vaccines for the region. One through the mechanism Covax (a distribution body governed by the WHO) and another directly, for the countries that urgently needed. The management was advanced in several countries, but for Argentina neither the amount nor the dates on which the donation could be made was announced.
The US health authorities had warned that each country it should have a necessary regulatory and legal framework to be able to distribute the vaccines and Argentina still did not offer anything.
In recent weeks, the White House stepped on the accelerator of distribution on the continent. Mexico has already received 1.3 million from Johnson and Johnson, Canada one million from Moderna, Colombia 2.5 million from Moderna, Peru 2 million from Pfizer, Brazil 3 million from J&J, Paraguay one million from Pfizer, Ecuador two million and Uruguay 500 thousand. Argentina saw that opportunity to obtain millions of free doses pass by.
Argentina was placed second on the list of direct donations from the White House, then from Brazil. Those negotiating in Washington said that was a sign of the number of doses they would receive. Brazil was awarded 3 million and sources that follow the issue trusted that 2.5 million doses would be feasible, like Colombia.
Our country had been struggling to get them. Not only through the feverish efforts of the ambassador Jorge Argüello in Washington, but also from Buenos Aires with the visit of Biden’s special advisor for the region, Juan González. The leader of the Chamber of Deputies also insisted on the issue, Sergio Massa, when he was meeting with various officials of this capital. The answer was always the same: without a proper legal framework, it was impossible.
For this reason, the leader of the Renovador Front sought a way out through the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), which offers a legal instrument to overcome this obstacle: a kind of “indemnity insurance” so that countries can more easily negotiate contracts. with laboratories. It could have been a way out to avoid the DNU and to obtain the exit of the law in the Congress.
But it is seen that this tool was not accepted. Perhaps the Government did not want to accept any benefit from the IDB president, Mauricio Claver Carone, who took over as head of the organization, beating the Argentine Gustavo Béliz. He preferred the signing of a decree that could finally unlock the issue.