Investigations are now under way into the Peruvian coronavirus vaccination scandal, in which hundreds of people, many well-connected, were given shots although they did not participate in trials for the Sinopharm vaccine to determine its efficacy.
Heath Minister Oscar Ugarte said 3,200 vaccines were given, including 1,200 that went to the Chinese Embassy. He said of the other 2,000 doses, investigators are looking into where they are and who was vaccinated.
The state-run Andina news agency reported Peru's Congress also launched a committee to investigate the scandal, amid a public uproar over how privileged people were able to jump ahead of front-line health workers for vaccinations.
Fernando Carbone, the head of the commission investigating those benefiting from the shots is guaranteeing impartiality in the probe, with a threat of sanctions against those involved.
Carbone spoke publicly about not being compromised after the Peruvian Medical College called for him to step aside, citing his association with former Health Minister Pilar Mazetti, who was among those improperly receiving vaccinations.
Peru’s foreign minister Elizabeth Astete resigned Sunday after revealing she had received the vaccine before health care personnel.
The public anger over the scandal has been exacerbated by Peru having one of the highest coronavirus tallies in Latin America, with more than 1.2 million infections and more than 44,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center.