Latvia might sell Covid vaccines to other countries

Health Ministry (VM) has prepared amendments to the law so that unused Covid-19 vaccines could be sold to other countries, LETA reported February 16.

The amendments prepared by the Ministry and submitted to the Saeima Defense, Internal Affairs and Corruption Prevention Commission provide that the vaccines purchased so far may be sold to foreign governments without applying the Law on the appropriation of public person's property. The Cabinet would take a decision regarding the sale of vaccines against Covid-19 infections on a case-by-case basis.

The funds resulting from the sale of vaccines would be included in the revenues of the State budget.

Currently, the Latvian regulation does not have the appropriate framework for the sale of vaccines against Covid-19 abroad, given that the disposal of vaccines is also subject to the conditions laid down in the agreements concluded with vaccine manufacturers and with the European Commission.

The amount of vaccines currently available in Latvia exceeds the demand. It is necessary to carry out the disposal of vaccines at regular intervals, following the expiry dates. To avoid situations that vaccines expire while other countries might need them, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs regularly engages in negotiations with other countries on issues relating to the disposal of vaccines.

For the purposes of effective management of State financial resources, the VM proposes that the Cabinet prioritize the possibility of selling vaccines, but, if there are no sales partners, to donate to the countries offered by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as beneficiary countries.

The vaccines must not be sold for a higher amount than they were purchased, but each contract also provides for specific conditions, such as the countries to which the vaccines would be sold, or the obligation to reimburse the European Commission's initial contributions.

On February 16, the Saeima Defence, Internal Affairs and Corruption Prevention Commission conceptually expressed its support for the amendments prepared by the Ministry and will further direct them for viewing in the parliament.

Information submitted by the VM shows that Latvia has so far donated 473,070 doses of vaccines to Tunisia, Moldova, Albania, Kenya, Georgia, Vietnam, Egypt, Benin. It was mostly AstraZeneca vaccines; Pfizer vaccines were donated to Georgia. A further 14,400 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines are on the way to Tunisia and 150,000 doses of Janssen vaccines are on the way to Ukraine, Moldova, and Bangladesh.

 

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