After the escalation of political tension over the vaccine issue, deputies from the ruling party and the opposition are preparing to receive – on Tuesday at 10 – the representatives of the producing laboratories, although not all have confirmed their attendance. The fine print of contracts, negotiations, and delivery delays; in the focus of the questions.
Expectations are high but the results are not calculated. Political forces also measure each other in a kind of arm wrestling to show who was right.
In the Front of All they say that it will serve to “bury malicious lies”, while in Together for Change they assure that they will seek “the truth” and bring light “on a subject in which “the government was not transparent or effective.”
Massa summoned representatives of the laboratories of the vaccines that Argentina already receives, as well as those who are in talks with the country. Santiago Cornejo of the Covax fund was also cited.
In the ruling party they have not yet confirmed who will attend for each signature, but they warn that the one that is missing will be exposed and that the character of the call is “under the warning of law”; a legal tool of Parliament to add pressure.
As he could know Clarion, from Sputnik and the laboratory Richmond, which will produce the Russian vaccine in the country, they have already confirmed, and with China, for the Sinopharm there was a good reception.
“Pfizer and Covax are putting a thousand buts”, they point close to a House authority. They are about the most unknowns due to the failed agreement.Moderna and Johnson & Johnson were also summoned.
“We are going to ask Pfizer if it is true that Ginés González asked them to have a local partner. They are going to say no. If it is true that there were return requests. They are going to say no. And it will be seen if the opposition, that he makes media and judicial complaints even in the United States, he ends with those speeches. The truth is that I doubt it, because what they seek is to sow confusion, “he told Clarion a legislator from the Frente de Todos who will participate in the meeting.
In Together for Change they ordered the tone and focus of their questions. Beyond the case of Pfizer, the opposition wants to know why the contracts are not being honored. For example, when will the Sputnik doses arrive, why has Argentina already paid more than half of the doses to AstraZeneca but received less than a third.
The meeting will be in the Delia Parodi room of the Lower House, within the scope of the Health and General Legislation commissions, chaired by the ruling party Pablo Yedlin and Cecilia Moreau. The vice and secretaries of both commissions and the heads of the House blocks will also participate.
The mechanism is being discussed, but it is proposed that each laboratory have its moment of presentation and questions of at least 45 minutes.
Parliamentary sources raised the presence of the Minister of Health, Carla vizzotti, to close the meeting. However, in their environment they indicated that their participation is not planned.
Those close to the official even commented, you didn’t like the idea. In the Government they indicated that it is “an initiative of the Congress”. In any case, it is not ruled out that representatives of the portfolio attend.
The strategy of “putting the laboratories in the dock” is not considered strategic by some pro-government legislators either. “In this context, rather than pointing them out, what we need is for them to be our allies to get more and more vaccines,” evaluated a deputy.
Like any committee meeting, it will be broadcast through the Chamber’s official television channel.
The call was settled last week, amid the scandal that erupted when Cornejo pointed out that Argentina had not agreed to receive Pfizer vaccines through the Covax fund either.
Massa decided it after a meeting with the joint leaders of Juntos por el Cambio. The president of that interblock, the radical, Mario Negri, had been publicly stating that if the Health Commission did not cite the laboratories they were going to convene a special session to discuss the projects related to the issue.
Beyond a battery of initiatives to create parliamentary commissions that are aware of and control the efforts, they presented a text to directly eliminate the word “neglect” from the Vaccine Law; one of the points that prevents the agreement with Pfizer.