Latvian ex-Health Minister cleared of charge of inaction to procure Covid-19 vaccines –

Prosecutors in Latvia have dropped a charge against Latvia’s previous Minister of Health Ilze Viņķele for alleged inaction in procuring Covid-19 vaccines for the Baltic country, when they first became available, according to LTV channel’s Panorāma programme.
In November 2020, the EU offered its member states to buy in a centralized procurement procedure vaccines against Covid-19 produced by pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and BioNTech. According to a finding by a disciplinary committee of the Latvian Ministry of Health, Latvia was able to apply for buying 841 341 doses, but decided to buy only 97 500.
Read also: Lithuania removes virus testing requirement to EU arrivals
In the next lot of the procurement, 420 707 vaccine doses were offered and Latvia decided to by only 100 000 doses. This resulted in a considerably slower vaccination campaign against Covid-19 in Latvia compared to other EU countries.
When this came to light, Latvian President of Ministers Krišjānis Kariņš asked Viņķele to resign from the office of the Latvian Minister of Health.
In the context of the criminal investigation, Viņķele has refused to comment on its merits, pointing out earlier that she would cooperate with prosecutors and hoped for speedy results in the case.
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