Regional government calls out previous administration over 1.8 million missing flu jabs

Junta spokesman Elías Bendodo is vaccinated in the presence of Health minister Jesús Aguirre.
Junta spokesman Elías Bendodo is vaccinated in the presence of Health minister Jesús Aguirre. / J. L. P.
  • The PP-led Junta has asked the PSOE for explanations as to the whereabouts of the vaccines purchased at a cost of six million euros

The Junta de Andalucía on Tuesday stepped up its offensive on the previous PSOE-led administration, accusing the Socialists not only of manipulating the figures of those who had been given flu vaccinations but also holding them responsible for the disappearance of 1.8 million jabs. Their current whereabouts is unknown but it is known that they were not returned.

The regional government's spokesman Elías Bendodo delivered this update earlier this week and stressed that these vaccines cost the region six million euros - the reason why he is calling for the PSOE in Andalucía to offer an explanation. In fact, these vaccines, had they not been purchased on a preferential rate by the public health system, would have had a value of up to 27 million euros.

During the last ten years, 12.6 million vaccines were purchased. In that time, 9.5 million were administered and 1.2 million were returned. "The result is that there are 1.8 million vaccines that were neither administered nor returned and the Andalusian Health Service doesn't know where they are," said Bendodo.

Bendodo also announced that the department headed by Jesús Aguirre had opened an internal investigation into the management of the PSOE which "exaggerated" the influenza vaccination rate, increasing it by as much as a million since 2012.

In regards to this, Bendodo asked "who gave the orders to do this?"

The minister described the situation as "very serious" and insisted that the present administration would "get to the bottom of it", not ruling out taking it to the courts once the investigation is concluded.

For their part, the Andalusian PSOE issued a statement through spokesman José Fiscal who called for Bendodo and Aguirre to "get vaccinated against lies, obscene manipulation and total lack of ethics" which has come about as a result of an attempt "to cover up the government's desperation in the face of the current problems that the health service is suffering from".