Court will discuss reserving data on the purchase of Covid vaccines

Victor Fuentes / Reforma Agency

Wednesday, May 11, 2022 | 22:18

Mexico City.- The Supreme Court of Justice will discuss a project that would seal the proof of payments from the federal government to the pharmaceutical companies Pfizer, Cansino and AstraZeneca, for the purchase of vaccines against Covid-19.

Minister Jorge Pardo proposed to his colleagues to declare founded an appeal for review promoted by the federal Executive, which seeks to reverse an order issued in May 2021 by the National Institute for Access to Information (INAI).

In its appeal, promoted under the National Security Law (LSN), the Legal Department of the Executive argued that disseminating the payment receipts implies a real, demonstrable and identifiable risk to the detriment of national security.

The foregoing, due to confidentiality clauses in the contracts with the companies, whose violation could cause the termination of said contracts or responsibilities for the Government of Mexico.

The project declares the argument founded and modifies the order that the INAI issued in resource 2391/2021. It remains to be seen if the Court will allow some fragment of the information to be released, or if it will order a reservation period to be set, after which the documents can be released.

The issue is the second on the plenary list for this Thursday. Previously, the Court will discuss a controversy of the Attorney General of the Republic (FGR), in which an order from the INAI to disclose names and specific positions of Public Ministries and other officials is challenged.

The third place on the list is another appeal by the Executive against an INAI resolution on the subject of vaccines, in this case, the one issued in appeal 1899/2021, which ordered the Ministry of Health to deliver public versions of the contracts entered into. with the three pharmaceutical companies.

These versions would be broader than those already published by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, of which a large number of paragraphs have been tested, including those related to payments, responsibilities, intellectual property and details of the confidentiality clauses themselves.

Throughout 2021, the Executive promoted at least 24 resources under the LSN, to challenge similar INAI orders related to contracts, payments and use of vaccines against Covid-19, and in all cases, the Court had to suspend the dissemination of information, as provided by law.

Last December, for example, the Court suspended indefinitely the dissemination of the batches of vaccines received from each pharmaceutical company, the number of doses in each batch, the places of application and the data of the batches that were stored.

All appeals against the publication of data related to vaccines have been turned over to Minister Pardo, but for now, only the two included in the list for the Plenary will be discussed.

These resources only require a majority of six of the eleven ministers, either to approve or reject the projects.

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