Nearly 500 politicians and government officials in Peru are facing public criticism for taking advantage of their positions to get coronavirus vaccinations early.
A government probe found that they obtained vaccine doses made in China and received shots before Peru’s vaccine rollout began on February 9.
Former president Martin Vizcarra and his family have been found to have gotten inoculated last October, when a vaccine test was conducted for medical workers. He was still in office at the time.
Vizcarra says he and his family volunteered to take part in the test to help develop new medicine.
The investigation also found that the country’s foreign minister, who had been negotiating with the Chinese supplier of the vaccine, was inoculated last month. The minister was forced to step down on Sunday.
The country’s minister in charge of health issues also resigned to take responsibility.
Investigators are looking at politicians and government officials on suspicion of obtaining the vaccine wrongfully.
Peru has reported more than 1.2 million coronavirus cases. About 43,000 people have died.
The country does not have enough vaccine doses. Public criticism is mounting as many people remain unable to get vaccinated.