Updated at 21:04,23-03-2021

Healthcare official who explained Eupenta vaccine usage detained for bribe


Healthcare official who explained Eupenta vaccine usage detained for bribe
Lyudmila Ravutskaya, August 29, 2018. Photo: BELTA
The Ministry of Health official who explained the supplies of the South Korean vaccine Eupenta to Belarus has been detained. Lyudmila Ravutskaya, head of the pharmacological inspectorate of the Ministry of Health, has been arrested on suspicion of bribe-taking, tut.by reports. A criminal case for bribery (7 incidents are known) has bene started against her Ravutskaya’s arrest by the anti-corruption department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs is not connected with this summer’s mass arrest of doctors.

The Internet edition Yezhednevnik published an article about Eupenta in summer. The edition announced that Belarusian children were being used to test a vaccine that was not registered in Belarus. The article ‘could harm the national security of the Republic of Belarus in the sphere of healthcare’, the Ministry of Health claimed and lodged a complaint to the General Prosecutor’s Office. The Investigation Committee started a check-up in connection with the death of a 2-month-old child after vaccination in Hantsavichy District. Specialists started checking the quality and origin of the vaccine.

Our country 'faced a critical situation in 2017', Ravutskaya announced at briefing in Minsk in August. A few lots of the Russian vaccine supplied to Belarus turned out to be of low quality and were returned back to Russia, the official said. It could disrupt the National Vaccination Calendar and result in the spread of dangerous infections. The Ministry of Health had to choose the Indian, Chinese or South Korean vaccine since ‘major Western companies’ refused to supply their vaccine to Belarus (they were said to lack the time to produce the vaccine). Officials chose the South Korean vaccine that was not registered in Belarus.