Through a statement published on its official website, the Government of Catamarca reported this Wednesday that 17 vials with doses of the Sputnik V vaccine, which were stored in the Carlos Malbrán Monovalent Hospital, were set aside and quarantined to determine their reliability after they lost their cold chain. It is the second episode of these characteristics that occurred in the country, after the scandal unleashed in Olavarría, in the province of Buenos Aires, where 400 doses had to be discarded.
The Catamarca authorities explained, through a press release, that “during one of the regular monitoring carried out to the chamber where the vaccines for COVID-19 are stored, an unscheduled rise in the temperature of one of the freezers was detected”. Consequently, they pointed out that, for that reason, “the bottles that were in storage were set aside and quarantined to determine their reliability.”
Is about 17 doses of the 1,350 belonging to the first batch of vaccines that Catamarca received last Monday, December 28, as part of the federal immunization scheme against the coronavirus that the national government agreed with the provinces.
The Executive Power of Catamarca also reported that coordinated the details of the operation of arrival in that province of a new batch of Sputnik V. As he explained, “it will be assigned to the second stage of work with health personnel,” adding the private sector and some towns in the interior of the province. Is about another 1,350 vaccines that will arrive this Thursday morning and that will also be housed in the refrigerated storage area of the Carlos Malbrán Hospital.
The first accident related to the Sputnik V vaccine and the loss of the cold chain had occurred in Olavarría. The health authorities of the province of Buenos Aires announced that they had to discard 400 vaccines against the coronavirus, which were stored in a hospital in that city, after having lost the cold chain. Likewise, the directors of the medical center filed a complaint to investigate whether there was sabotage.
As found out InfobaeLast week, 450 doses of the Sputnik V vaccine arrived in Olavarría and on Wednesday, December 30, 50 people were vaccinated. Therefore, the remaining 400 had to be stored. Ezequiel Galli, Mayor of Olavarría, had proposed to keep them in a municipal vaccination center, but the health authorities decided to do so in a provincial medical center, the Luciano Alfredo Fortabat Oncology Hospital.
Last Monday, when it was decided to resume vaccination after the New Year celebrations, officials from the Buenos Aires Ministry of Health noticed certain irregularities in storage. Ramiro Borzi, head of the Sanitary Region XI of the province of Buenos Aires, told the local site Infoeme: “The vaccines that were in the freezer are going to go out of circulation, they cannot be used. We began to corroborate a series of irregular and serious events. For example, at 2:50 in the morning the camera monitoring the freezer was cut off. Strange movements around the hospital are confirmed by other cameras. There was also a lack of reporting by security personnel about the area where the vaccines are physically located ”.
He also assured that “the only security camera that cut off the transmission” was the one in front of the freezer with the vaccines and that the rest of the cameras worked normally throughout the weekend.
In that sense, Mayor Galli also spoke, in dialogue with the A24 news channel. “There is a criminal complaint to find out what happened, why the cold chain was cut. It was an operation carried out by the Province. We made ourselves available, we have a municipal vaccination center with 60 years of history, in which a vaccine never had to be thrown due to loss of cold chain, it has a generator and freezer to store 70 thousand doses. But the decision was to do it in a provincial hospital and we respect it. What happened and who was responsible should be determined by the Justice ”, he indicated.
For its part, the Government of Axel Kicillof held that “There is some possibility that it was sabotage”.
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Discard of 400 vaccines against the coronavirus in Olavarría: complaints of sabotage and accusations of malpractice led to a legal case
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