Bahadır Özgür / DUVAR
Turkey's Health Ministry has given a tender for the preservation and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines to the same company that prepared the current system, which malfunctioned at the cost of millions of doses of vaccines in 2018.
The private partnership ANKAREF-ERBUL won the Dec. 21, 2020 tender worth 11.075 million Turkish liras to "restore, upgrade, and maintain the existing vaccine and serum cold chain and stocking management system."
The same partnership created the existing system in 2015 and mandated all health organizations subscribe to their centralized software and pay subscription fees to have access to the state database.
The existing system was revealed to have caused major back-ups in stocks, which led to millions of measles, mumps, and rubella vaccines to be shipped out to health organizations with mere months left until their expiration dates.
A 2018 audit by the Court of Accounts revealed that 1.6 million doses of vaccines spoiled before they were administered to anyone, costing the Health Ministry and the public, some 11.3 million Turkish liras.
The Health Ministry signed with ANKAREF-ERBUL despite the Court of Accounts' ruling that the company should be investigated to find the extent of public loss they inflicted.