After the controversy that arose in the country for the proposal that the covid-19 vaccine be charged to strata 5 and 6, the Plenary of the House of Representatives knocked down the article that contained this provision within the so-called draft law of vaccines, which establishes mechanisms to facilitate access to immunization against the coronavirus.
The project, which received an urgent message from President Iván Duque, was approved in its third of four debates and It only needs one more debate to become law. However, despite its relevance, a paragraph introduced in the text had generated quite a controversy in the country.
(See also: ‘I do not agree with being charged for the vaccine’: Ferro)
The paragraph indicated that strata 5 and 6 would have to pay for the vaccine.
“Strata 5 and 6 will be exempt from being free, except for those who belong to health personnel, adults over 60 years of age and people with comorbidities,” said the paragraph of article 9 of the project.
This provision caused the rejection of political sectors and scientific societies, as well as experts in epidemiology. TTaking these criticisms into account, the Chamber Plenary definitively eliminated this paragraph, so once the vaccine is available, it will be applied free of charge to all Colombians, regardless of the stratum.
To make this decision, the Legislature took into account the pronouncement of the Ministry of Health, in which the entity affirms that “the objective of immunization requires vaccinating the majority of possible Colombians.”
In addition to being free, this bill, authored by congressman Ricardo Ferro, resolves many of the concerns of Colombians regarding access to the vaccine, since it will enable the National Government to establish strategic alliances and allocate health resources to experimental vaccines. against Covid-19, or any other pandemic that may arise in the future.
The initiative allows the private sector to deduct taxes if they contribute resources to the National Risk Management Fund, which is the exchange created by the State for emergency mitigation, as is the case of the acquisition of vaccines and other activities focused on achieving immunization in the national territory against this pandemic.
With this law we are going to guarantee that public resources can be allocated for the acquisition of the vaccine
The idea is that companies that file income tax are exempted from paying 50 percent of this tax if they contribute resources that allow the purchase of vaccines.
“With this law we are going to guarantee that public resources can be allocated for the acquisition of the vaccine, but additionally we will guarantee that businessmen can join what can be called a great ‘cow’, where there will be public resources and private resources for the purchase massive vaccine ”assured the representative Ferro.