February 19, 21 - 4:33 pm - LABS

Vaccine scandal involving Peru’s political elite results in resignations

Peru faces a scandal involving the country’s political elite, including former president Martín Vizcarra. The “vacunagate”, as it has been called by the local press, revealed that almost 500 politicians were vaccinated against the coronavirus even before the vaccines were made available to health workers.

The scandal provoked a strong popular reaction in the country, which is among the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic in Latin America and even registered the highest mortality rate per capita in the world – with 32 million inhabitants, Peru has had more 1.2 million cases and approximately 44 thousand deaths.

Among the politicians who were vaccinated are the ministers of Health, Pilar Mazzetti, and Foreign Affairs, Elizabeth Astete, who resigned after the scandal was made public. They were vaccinated in January, before the country started its vaccination program.

Public prosecutors have opened an investigation on the “vacunagate”, informed Peruvian government.

The revelations come less than two months from the presidential elections and may affect the election. The current president, Francisco Sagasti, who holds the position on an interim basis, declared that any government official who uses his position to gain preferential access to the vaccines will be fired, according to reported by Financial Times.