Argentina minister resigns after vaccine scandal

Argentina's health minister has stepped down following reports that people had been using personal connections to get access to COVID vaccines, that they wouldn't have normally been entitled to.

In a letter posted on Twitter, Gines Gonzalez Garcia said that individuals were able to sidestep proper procedure for vaccines due to, quote, "unintended confusion" in his office while he was away.

But a veteran journalist told a local radio station that he received a shot after speaking directly with the minister.

Just one of at least ten people reported to have received a vaccination without following the procedure.

Two presidential sources say President Alberto Fernandez demanded Garcia's resignation following the reports.

The scandal shines a spotlight on fears over the region's corruption, as well as access to vaccines which are in short supply.

Earlier this month, Peru's health and foreign ministers quit after reports of hundreds of Peruvian officials receiving vaccine doses outside of clinical trials.

Since December, Argentina has been using Russia's Sputnik V vaccine to inoculate frontline health workers.

This week it began giving shots to people over 70 but appointments have been scarce and people are supposed to register first.

Video Transcript

- Argentina's health minister has stepped down following reports that people had been using personal connections to get access to COVID vaccines that they wouldn't have normally been entitled to. In a letter posted on Twitter, Gines Gonzalez Garcia said that individuals were able to sidestep proper procedure for vaccines due to, quote, "unintended confusion" in his office while he was away.

But a veteran journalist told a local radio station that he received a shot after speaking directly with the minister. Just one of at least 10 people reported to have received a vaccination without following the procedure. Two presidential sources say President Alberto Fernandez demanded Garcia's resignation following the reports.

The scandal shines a spotlight on fears over the region's corruption, as well as access to vaccines, which are in short supply. Earlier this month, Peru's health and foreign ministers quit after reports of hundreds of Peruvian officials receiving vaccine doses outside of clinical trials. Since December, Argentina has been using Russia's Sputnik V vaccine to inoculate frontline health workers. This week it began giving shots to people over 70, but appointments have been scarce, and people are supposed to register first.