"My decision was influenced by the fact that between 8 and 26 January I had to undergo two molecular tests … to check whether or not I was infected due to the contact I had for work reasons with different people who had tested positive for Covid 19. To this was added the need I had to travel to Tumbes to meet my responsibility as representative of said region in the Council of Ministers and the limitations that I have for being a person at risk, being 68 years old," Astete said in her Saturday resignation letter, posted on Twitter on Sunday.
The minister said that she was offered the first dose of the Sinopharm vaccine on 22 January, after she came into contact with people who had tested positive for COVID-19 in December and January.
"As a result of the recent revelation about the vaccination of [former] President Vizcarra and his wife and the understandable impact that this news has had on public opinion, I am aware of the serious mistake I made, which is why I decided not to receive the second dose," Astete explained in her resignation letter.
On Saturday, Sagasti accepted the resignation of Peru’s Health Minister Pilar Mazzetti over former President Martin Vizcarra getting vaccinated against COVID-19 early, before the shots became widely available in Peru.
Sagasti received the first dose of the Chinese Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine last week, as the vaccination campaign kicked off in the Latin American nation after Peru received the first batch of 300,000 doses of the Chinese vaccine on 7 February. Health workers are first in line to be vaccinated against COVID-19.