Health Minister, Vili Beros, announced on Thursday evening that an inquiry would be launched into the cases of prominent officials who had received jumped the line to get coronavirus vaccinations, adding that such cases deserved "strongest condemnation."
“The vaccination plan adopted by the government provides for the free vaccination of all adult citizens of this country and determines which groups of citizens have priority,” Beros said in a Facebook post, adding that local county public health institutions are responsible for ensuring that priority order of vaccine distribution is observed.
Earlier this week, local media reported that Zagreb University’s Rector, Damir Boras, and his wife had been vaccinated against Covid-19 in January, in spite of not being in the government-designated priority group, which originally included health workers and care home residents. This has since been expanded to include members of government, MPs and judges of the Supreme and Constitutional courts.
On Thursday, head of Croatia’s chamber of commerce HGK, Luka Burilovic, confirmed to N1 television that he too had been vaccinated against coronavirus on 13 January and 4 February. Burilovic explained this by saying that being a disabled war veteran due of a severe pulmonary condition he belonged to a designated at-risk group, and therefore his vaccination did not constitute skipping the line.
Also on Thursday, transparency NGO Gong invited the government to release detailed data on vaccine distribution for employees of all government institutions.
“All the cases of vaccinations given by jumping the line reported by the media deserve strongest condemnation, especially if some (other) citizens have been deprived of their right (to get vaccinated),” Beros said.
“The Health Ministry will order an inquiry into all these cases, and it calls upon all those responsible for vaccination to observe the designated priorities,” he added.
“All the individuals who took advantage of the right to vaccination to the detriment of others will have to face moral accountability before the Croatian public,” Beros said.