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Spain’s Balearic Islands refuses to release secret contracts for Covid vaccines despite court order

The hide-and-seek game surrounding secret Covid vaccine contracts is arguably unprecedented in European judicial history. The latest example is the Balearic Islands.

The Spanish Agency for Medicines and Health Products (Aemps) of the Ministry of Health has refused to hand over the secret contracts for vaccines against the coronavirus requested by the Supreme Court of Justice of the Balearic Islands (TSJB) in a lawsuit filed by Madrid-based Liberum association against the use of the “Covid passport” in the Balearic Islands.

Specifically, the association had asked for the original contracts “signed by the government with the pharmaceutical companies Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Moderna and Jansen and/or the Commission of the European Union,” which listed “the price of the doses, the supplies, any compensation for defects in the drug, and all the clauses and provisions.”

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The court had deemed the evidence relevant and sent the ministry an official letter on July 28, giving it ten days to certify the documents requested in the lawsuit.

Supreme Court of Justice of the Balearic Islands. (Photo internet reproduction)
Supreme Court of Justice of the Balearic Islands. (Photo internet reproduction)

On August 3, the Medicines Agency responded in a letter accessed by Europa Press that these contracts “are subject to confidentiality as they are part of the advance purchase agreements concluded by the European Commission with vaccine manufacturers.”

Specifically, the agency points out that the rules of procedure of the Steering Committee, which assists the Commission in awarding contracts, “expressly provide that the documents submitted to the members of the Steering Committee are to be treated as confidential.”

As the agency recalls in its brief, the Commission has stated that contracts are protected for confidentiality reasons to protect “sensitive” negotiations, commercial and financial information, and development and production plans.”

“It has been noted that “all companies require that such sensitive business information remain confidential.”

Therefore, disclosure of the contracts by the Spanish government would breach that confidentiality.”

So far, the regional government did not enter an appeal.

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