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News > Ecuador

Ecuador To Allow Private Purchases of COVID-19 Vaccines

  • Sample of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, Feb. 18, 2021.

    Sample of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, Feb. 18, 2021. | Photo: Twitter/ @MACarrascoPhD

Published 24 February 2021 (15 hours 14 minutes ago)
Opinion

The World Health Organization does not recommend the acquisition of vaccines through private institutions because only public management can guarantee equitable access to drugs.

Ecuador's President Lenin Moreno on Tuesday announced he will allow private institutions and subnational governments to purchase COVID-19 vaccines if the products meet the standards established by the health authorities.

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The decision considers the requests made by such municipal authorities as Quito mayor Jorge Yunda, who said he would spend US$20 million to purchase COVID-19 vaccines for his city.  

The new policy was recommended by the Moreno administration's "Transparency Committee," which seeks to ensure the correct distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.

"We may allow the restricted purchase and sale of vaccines after the first vaccination phases have been completed," said Health Minister Juan Carlos Zevallos.

The World Health Organization (WHO), however, does not recommend the acquisition of COVID-19 vaccines through private institutions because only public management can guarantee equitable access to drugs.

This multilateral institution fears that private procurement will allow rich nations to hoard vaccines and generate shortages in developing countries.

In January, Mexico also allowed the purchase of vaccines by private institutions, as long as they respect national vaccination campaign guidelines and priorities.

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