Latvia's vaccine procurement to be investigated

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The Prosecutor General will launch an investigation of the procurement of Covid-19 vaccines and assess the decision of the Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau (KNAB) not to initiate criminal proceedings in connection with the purchase of Covid-19 vaccines.

The prosecutor's office said in a statement to the media on Thursday, March 18, that there was a need for the Prosecutor of the Department of Human Rights and the state Department of Defense to begin an inspection of the procurement of Covid-19 vaccines.

During the trial of the prosecutor, all conditions related to the purchase of vaccines and the resulting situation will be assessed. As part of the prosecutor's review, the KNAB's decision of 9 March on refusing to launch criminal proceedings relating to the procurement of Covid-19 vaccines will also be inspected.

LETA reported that the KNAB's investigation of the decision taken by Latvian officials to refuse all initially available supplies of “Pfizer” vaccines showed no signs of crime and decided not to initiate criminal proceedings.

The KNAB' s examination did not reveal any facts indicating corrupt activities or behavior.

 Latvia could initially apply for a higher number of Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines, but a decision was taken on a smaller quantity. The Ministry of Health believes it cannot be called a mistake. By the end of the year healthcare officials also decided to order only half of the available Moderna vaccines.

In total, Latvia refused to purchase approximately 1.3 million doses of vaccines, which would allow approximately 650 000 people to be vaccinated.

According to data from the European Center for Disease Prevention, on March 11 Latvia was in the last place in the European Union, according to the proportion of the population receiving the first jab, with only 4.1% of the population receiving the first dose.

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