A tweet from the former president Martin Vizcarra announcing that he was given a dose of the vaccine Pfizer has revived the ‘Vacunagate’ Case where it was revealed that more than 450 people received doses of Sinopharm, irregularly, at the end of 2020. But the former president was not the only one who has received new doses after the scandal, because the Ministry of Health (Minsa) forgot to remove them from the list of beneficiaries for the official inoculation process against COVID-19 that began last March.
The Data Journalism Unit of El Comercio crossed the ‘Vacunagate’ list with the Pongo el Hombro register, updated to June 27, and found that 58 people from the list were inoculated again – 48 with two doses and 10 with one – in the regular process that is being carried out in the country. In addition to the doses received irregularly, these people were inoculated with the doses assigned to them in the regular Minsa process: the health personnel received the Sinopharm vaccine again, while the adults were vaccinated with Pfizer.
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Among them are César Vizcarra Cornejo, brother of the former president; Ciro Maguina, vice dean of the Medical College of Peru; Jose Carlos Ramirez Prada, brother of the former director of the National Center for Disease Prevention and Control Epidemiology (CDC) Gladys Ramirez Prada, and the former official of the Minsa, Victor Cuba, who has received 5 doses (3 from ‘Vacunagate’ and 2 from the regular process).
The former Deputy Minister of Health Luis Suárez Ognio confirmed to El Comercio that he received an extra dose. He assured that the Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia did not provide them with a vaccination certificate and that he did not develop antibodies with the Sinopharm vaccination, not because of the vaccine, but because of his health.
“I consulted with my doctor because I have proof that I have not generated antibodies after I received the Sinopharm vaccine. My doctor’s advice is that I should receive the Pfizer vaccine, as all people who did not develop antibodies should receive it ”, he claimed.
According to Suárez, “It has not been defined that [el ‘Vacunagate’] it was an irregular vaccination. That is being evaluated by the prosecution. It was a media scandal to which we of the professional team that was in charge of the response to the pandemic were drawn. The objective of this vaccination was to protect the team that led the response to the pandemic, which was at very high risk “he declared.
This newspaper also tried to communicate with former ministers Pilar Mazzetti and Elizabeth Astete, but they did not answer the calls.
Taken from the register
The Minister of Health, Óscar Ugarte, ordered on Monday that those involved in the ‘Vacunagate’ Case be removed from the current official registry, which was done immediately. But this caused the information on people who had already acquired extra doses to be removed.
In the register now it appears that the DNI of the brothers Martín and César Vizcarra “is not yet registered in the register”, despite the fact that they received 1 and 2 additional doses, respectively, as recorded in the same records reviewed on Sunday.
The Minsa also issued a statement indicating that Congress or the prosecutor’s office must evaluate an investigation against those who received additional doses.
The Special COVID-19 Commission of Congress yesterday presented a motion in order to invite the president of the Council of Ministers, Violeta Bermúdez, and the Minister of Health, Óscar Ugarte, to the plenary session to explain the extra inoculation of those involved in the Case ‘Get vaccinated’.
Additionally, legislator Jim Ali Mamani (New Constitution) has been collecting signatures to question Prime Minister Violeta Bermúdez for the same case.
Diethell Columbus, spokesman for Fuerza Popular, said it is necessary to determine responsibilities and sanctions.
In April, Congress disqualified Martín Vizcarra for the ‘Vacunagate’ Case.
There is no evidence on the need for additional doses
On the need for a third dose, researcher and scientific editor Percy Mayta-Tristán explained that it is still too early to reach a consensus on whether and when this dose should be applied. “We still have no evidence that the protection of people already vaccinated has fallen. An evaluation and planning is required “, he claimed. Through the first official vaccinates, evidence will only be available to think about other doses.
For Mayta-Tristán, before thinking of a third dose, the priority must be to vaccinate everyone so that we are all protected. The specialist affirms that, in any case, if there is a third dose, this has to be determined and implemented by the Minsa and not under the logic of a group of people. “They have skipped the queue again. They have not been able to wait for the vaccination process to finish. There was no regret or a mea culpa after the scandal “, He said.
In RPP Noticias, Dr. Elmer Huerta recalled that Vizcarra reported in April that he had fallen ill with COVID-19 despite receiving the two doses of Sinopharm at the end of 2020, but he warned that there is no study that shows that a “revaccination is necessary. ”. “This revaccination is emerging in some Latin American countries that are receiving Russian and Chinese vaccines; they distrust, so then many travel to the United States or Europe and without any scientific study to back it up, they are revaccinated on their own “, he referred.