Review of Vinkele's criminal case for failure to ensure timely procurement of Covid-19 vaccines to begin in September

  • 2022-07-05
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - Riga Vidzeme District Court will start reviewing a criminal case against former Health Minister Ilze Vinkele (Development/For) on September 15, LETA learned from the court.

The prosecutor's office has charged Vinnkele in accordance with Section 319 of the Criminal Law for her failure to ensure timely procurement of Covid-19 vaccines.

Then-Health Minister Vinkele in 2021 did not develop a Covid-19 vaccination strategy, which would cover procurement, transportation and storage of Covid-19 vaccines and ensure the necessary medical resources for a successful vaccination campaign.

As reported, in the first procurement held until November 19, 2020, up to 860,000 Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine doses were made available to Latvia, but a decision was made to purchase only 97,500 vaccine doses. During the next stage when 430,000 vaccine doses were offered, Latvia decided to purchase 100,000 doses.

When this information came to light at the beginning of 2021, Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins (New Unity) demanded that Vinkele step down. Later on, the prosecutor's office charged Vinkele with failure to act and opened a criminal case.