Paraguayan senator resigns after leapfrogging vaccine line

Senator Mirta Gusinsky vaccine line
Senator Mirta Gusinsky (left). Photo: Twitter/@GusinkyMirta

Paraguay is one of a series of Latin American countries to uncover a scandal of public officials cutting in line to receive coronavirus vaccines ahead of time. This week, 73-year-old opposition Senator Mirta Gusinsky resigned after admitting she received a Covid-19 vaccine before she was entitled to one. 

In her statement, Ms. Gusinsky admitted the “mistake,” saying she “lied” when trying to circumvent a Health Ministry report that accused her and other authorities of being immunized unlawfully. Paraguay has administered just 143,000 shots so far, and it is still vaccinating over 75s

On May 3, Paraguay’s Health Minister Julio Borba announced an investigation into at least 500 irregular vaccinations, leading to the resignation of four officials, besides Ms. Gusinsky. The department said there would be “zero tolerance” for vaccine-related irregularities. 

Since December 24, when Covid-19 vaccination began in Latin America, Argentina, Peru, and Ecuador have fired authorities due to similar wrongdoings. In Peru, former President Martín Vizcarra even lost his political rights for ten years.