Peru foreign minister resigns over vaccination scandal
Published: 08:08 PM, 15 February 2021 Updated: 08:09 PM, 15 February 2021
Peru’s foreign minister Elizabeth Astete resigned on Sunday in a growing scandal over the revelation that government officials received COVID-19 vaccinations before the general public.
The South American nation has been badly hit by the pandemic, with its health system overwhelmed and a targeted vaccination program for health workers rolling out only from February 8.
Public resentment over officials receiving vaccinations despite there being no date for a wider immunization roll out has seen at least two government officials resign.
Elizabeth Astete tweeted on Sunday that her resignation had been formally accepted by President Francisco Sagasti.
She said in the statement that she had been vaccinated on January 22, calling it a serious mistake.
Sagasti told the America Television channel he was outraged and furious about the situation.
Peru only began its immunization drive, starting with health workers, in early February after receiving 300,000 Chinese Sinopharm vaccine doses.
There is still no date for a general vaccine roll-out, but the government has said it intends to vaccinate 10 million people by July.