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Bolivian Health Minister Charges Advanced Countries Hoarding of Vaccines Is ‘Disguised Genocide’

April 12 , 2021 (EIRNS)—Speaking at an event April 7 to commemorate World Health Day, Bolivian Health Minister Jeyson Auza denounced advanced sector nations for hoarding vaccines and preventing poorer nations from obtaining them. This, he said, is a form of “disguised genocide imposed on our nations by a shameless capitalism.” Bolivia had announced its vaccination campaign and had contracted 2 million doses of vaccine initially, but thus far has only received a quarter of that amount which it blames on the suppliers, Sputnik reported April 7.

“How is it possible that fewer than ten countries have accumulated 80% of the vaccine?... This is the greatest moral test that humanity is facing, and we’re putting it off,” he argued. It is “stupidity” that individual countries, “and not humanity as a whole,” have to fight to obtain vaccines. “If we don’t vaccinate everyone, we’re allowing the virus to spread and mutate and this affects everyone.” Auza called on his Latin American colleagues to denounce “this crisis of selfishness.”

He also suggested that it was due to developed countries’ hoarding that Bolivia didn’t receive the vaccines within the agreed-upon timetable that it had paid for. “We signed contracts but it looks like our dollars are no good compared to the dollars of other powerful countries, to guarantee the vaccines we’ve paid for with our own sovereign resources,” he stated. Bolivia was supposed to receive 16 million doses of vaccine by mid-June, of which 5.1 million are to come through the COVAX mechanism; 228,000 of the latter have already been received. The government has purchased 11 million vaccine doses directly from producers.

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