Peru's foreign minister Elizabeth Astete and Peru's interim President Francisco Sagasti attend an event, in Lima, Peru. Astete has resigned. Picture: PRESIDENCY/REUTERS
Peru's foreign minister Elizabeth Astete and Peru's interim President Francisco Sagasti attend an event, in Lima, Peru. Astete has resigned. Picture: PRESIDENCY/REUTERS

Lima —  Peruvian prosecutors have opened an investigation into former president Martin Vizcarra and other officials who got vaccinated in secret with the Sinopharm coronavirus shot.

Prosecutors took statements from Vizcarra, his wife and several former cabinet members, the attorney-general’s office said on Twitter.

Nearly 500 Peruvians including cabinet ministers abused positions of authority to get the shots before they became available to the public, President Francisco Sagasti said in a national address on Monday.

The health minister, the deputy health minister and the foreign minister Elizabeth Astete all resigned over the weekend in the scandal Peruvian media have referred to as “vaccinegate”.

Sagasti was sworn in as president last November, after congress ousted Vizcarra and street protests forced out his replacement. He’ll lead the country through general elections in April and hand over power to a new administration in July.

Several candidates running for congress in April also received the shots, El Comercio reported.

Investigators have also requested information regarding the arrival and distribution of vaccines, from the National Health Institute, and from the universities who took part in the trials.

Bloomberg

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