Colombia’s SARS-CoV-2 deals between calls for transparency, confidentiality clauses



Colombia’s Health Minister Fernando Ruiz has been facing criticism over the perceived lack of transparency regarding negotiations with SARS-CoV-2 vaccine developers, the most recent information request coming this week when the Office of the Comptroller General (CGR) inquired on the details of the contracts signed so far. However, the official replied that all companies have demanded confidentiality agreements, the breach of which could result in sanctions and would compromise the country’s access to the vaccines.

Ruiz explained that, although transparency laws mandate the disclosure of the state’s agreements and contracts, they allow exceptions in case of trade secrets or when public health is at stake. However, he revealed that a COP 1.53 trillion (USD 437 million) budget has been allotted for these purchases so far.

The Minister added that the SARS-CoV-2 immunization campaign is planned for launch next month, although existing resources must be expanded as the country currently has 3,000 vaccination units and 7,000 vaccination staff.

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