U.S. markets closed
  • S&P 500

    3,841.94
    +73.47 (+1.95%)
     
  • Dow 30

    31,496.30
    +572.16 (+1.85%)
     
  • Nasdaq

    12,920.15
    +196.68 (+1.55%)
     
  • Russell 2000

    2,192.21
    +45.29 (+2.11%)
     
  • Crude Oil

    66.27
    +2.44 (+3.82%)
     
  • Gold

    1,698.30
    -2.40 (-0.14%)
     
  • Silver

    25.25
    -0.21 (-0.83%)
     
  • EUR/USD

    1.1918
    -0.0061 (-0.51%)
     
  • 10-Yr Bond

    1.5540
    +0.0040 (+0.26%)
     
  • GBP/USD

    1.3835
    -0.0059 (-0.42%)
     
  • USD/JPY

    108.3830
    +0.4070 (+0.38%)
     
  • BTC-USD

    49,167.54
    +1,052.66 (+2.19%)
     
  • CMC Crypto 200

    982.18
    +39.00 (+4.14%)
     
  • FTSE 100

    6,630.52
    -20.36 (-0.31%)
     
  • Nikkei 225

    28,864.32
    -65.78 (-0.23%)
     

Argentina's new health minister pledges fair vaccine access after scandal

·1 min read

BUENOS AIRES, Feb 20 (Reuters) - Argentina's new HealthMinister Carla Vizzotti was sworn in on Saturday after thecountry was rattled by a scandal over VIP coronavirus vaccineaccess, pledging to strengthen oversight and transparency of theinoculation program.

Her predecessor stepped down on Friday after reports thatpeople had been able to use connections to get priority accessto COVID-19 vaccines, piling pressure on the center-leftgovernment of President Alberto Fernandez.

"We will strengthen the tools and actions that guaranteefairness in access to vaccines, monitoring compliance with theplanned process," Vizzotti, 47, a doctor and specialist ininfectious diseases, wrote on Twitter after taking office.

"It is the President's decision that we carry out thelargest vaccination plan in our history with the greatest speedand offer each Argentine the peace of mind that all vaccines areadministered according to precise sanitary criteria."

Argentina's state attorney for administration investigationshas opened a probe into potential abuses of power by the formerminister Gines Gonzalez Garcia, who in his resignation letterhad blamed "confusion" in his office.

The South American country, with a population of about 45million, has so far received some 1.22 million doses of theRussian Sputnik V vaccine and 580,000 doses of the Covishieldvaccine, manufactured by the Indian Serum Institute.

The scandal mirrors one in Peru earlier this month, whichled to the resignation of a number of ministers after it emergedthat some 500 people had received early vaccines in secret.

(Reporting by Walter Bianchi; Writing by Adam Jourdan; Editingby Richard Chang)