Status: 02/27/2021 11:39 p.m.
So far there have been isolated cases in Brazil, but they are making the headlines: Patients there received corona vaccinations that did not contain any vaccine. Other countries in South America are also doing badly – with one exception.
By Ivo Marusczyk,
ARD-Studio Buenos Aires
Newspapers and news portals in Brazil speak of “wind vaccinations”: it seems that elderly people have only been vaccinated against Covid-19 as a pretense. The senior citizens were given the spades in their upper arms, but the vaccination workers did not push the plunger down – either there was nothing in the syringe or the vaccine was not injected. They are isolated cases, but some are pretty straightforward.
ARD-Studio Buenos Aires
Videos prove sham vaccinations
Auto-vaccination routes are widespread in Brazil. The patients remain seated in the car, the syringe is administered through the open door. The relatives like to film this from the driver’s seat, which the vaccination workers often cannot see at all. In the past few days, videos showing the “wind vaccinations” have appeared again and again.
Sham vaccinations were given in Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Goiania, Maceió and Manaus in the Amazon region. There are reports of a dozen or so cases in the Brazilian media. Some patients were vaccinated again immediately because the “wind vaccination” was noticed. The term is misleading because the patient is of course not injected with air.
In Brazil, vaccinations are often given in the car – it is not uncommon for relatives to film or take photos. Cases of sham vaccinations were also documented.
An empty syringe because the dose was lost
In Petrópolis a nurse admitted such vaccination. She made a mistake when she was completely exhausted and lost a dose of vaccine. In order to disguise this, she vaccinated a senior citizen only to appear and used an empty syringe. The police consider this representation to be credible. In any case, there is no evidence in this case that vaccination doses were withheld or put aside. Exactly this suspicion is in the room.
In South America, too, strict prioritization rules still apply: only people of certain age groups are vaccinated. It is obvious that “vaccineers” try to get the coveted syringe even though it is not yet their turn. Especially since all too often in South America, rules are easy to circumvent if the price is right.
“Vaccine push” scandals in several countries in South America
So far, there is no evidence of a vaccination black market. There have, however, been tangible “vaccine pusher” scandals in several countries in South America. In Peru, the foreign ministers and health ministers had to resign because they were vaccinated early. In Ecuador, Health Minister Zevallos stumbled upon nepotism when it came to vaccinating: he had ensured that relatives and friends were given vaccination doses. In Argentina, Health Minister Ginés García gave his political friends a preferential vaccination.
Top officials from his ministry and a journalist friend of García were vaccinated. Likewise, the powerful union boss Hugo Moyano, who immediately had his wife and 20-year-old son immunized – with flimsy justifications. García also had to resign.
Argentina’s health minister Garcia had to resign because of the “vaccine crowd” scandal.
Not a senior group, but a youth group
The scandal spreads even further: In the offices of the “Cámpora”, a political organization of the ruling Peronists, vaccinations are said to have been administered. The “Cámpora” is not a senior group, but a youth group. According to unconfirmed reports, vaccination doses are said to have been offered in secret in Argentina for 50,000 pesos, which would be a good 280 euros at the black market rate.
What is certain is that the regular vaccinations throughout South America are making slow progress. Argentina has so far received a good two million vaccine doses for 44 million inhabitants. In Brazil, many cities have had to interrupt their vaccination campaigns because supplies are not arriving.
Chile is an exception: the vaccination campaign only started there on February 3rd. But now the country is setting an amazing pace. A sixth of the population is now vaccinated, and Chile has even overtaken the USA – at least if you consider the rate of first vaccinations.