Deputy Minister of Defense for User and Consumer Rights, Jorge Silva, assured Monday that his statements about the vaccination were “biased” and assured that those who do not use the anticovid dose will not be “imprisoned”.

He said there are biosecurity regulations that need to be followed under the right to health.

“I regret that it is biased. We have never said that those who do not get vaccinated will go to jail,” he told the media.

The Vice Minister stated that Supreme Decree 4640, promulgated last Thursday, respects the voluntary nature of the vaccine’s use, since, if the document is not available, the PCR test will be requested as part of the pandemic’s emergency and control measures so far 19,554 compatriots with an average of 1,500 infected per day.

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He reiterated that vaccination is universal, free and voluntary.

“For reasons of health protection of the population it is stipulated that the vaccination card or the PCR test can be carried with you to enter certain establishments (…) those who do not have a vaccination card must show their PCR test or you will not be able to enter certain places”, he stated.

He said his words were “misinterpreted and decontextualized” after being interviewed on Bolivian television on Sunday, where he generally noted that Article 216 of the 1972 Criminal Code punishes crimes against public health with up to 10 years can be deprived of liberty.

The vice minister said that at no point did he verbally indicate that failure to use the COVID-19 vaccine would mean 10 years in prison, as some media headlined.

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Silva said that the population must take an active part in combating the pandemic by acting responsibly. “It is the duty of those in power and government not to lower their vigilance, on the contrary.”

“We appeal to the responsible attitude of the citizens to continue all preventive measures and contain the advance of the pandemic,” he said.

He also stated that the municipal and district authorities must exercise their competencies in the control of biological security measures, capacities and operating times.

“Access, control and monitoring of the activities of public and private entities, which are subject to government authorization, must be applied by the municipalities and governors in their jurisdiction to ensure the health of Bolivians,” he said.


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