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News > Ecuador

Ecuador: Health Minister Investigated Over Influence Peddling

  • Health Minister Juan Zeballos, Quito, Ecuador.

    Health Minister Juan Zeballos, Quito, Ecuador. | Photo: Twitter/ @PrimeraPlanaECU

Published 29 January 2021

Juan Zeballos presumably allowed some members of his family to receive the first doses of the Pfizer vaccine.

Ecuadorian Attorney General's Office Thursday opened an investigation against Health Minister Juan Zeballos over an alleged crime of influence peddling during the COVID-19 vaccine distribution process.


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The investigation started after several complaints against the minister, who presumably allowed some family members to receive the first doses of the Pfizer vaccine.

The Popular Legal Action and Amapola Naranjo judicial groups denounced that the country's first day of the vaccination campaign took place in the private nursing home where Zeballos' mother lives in Quito.

"This weekend, local outlets reported Zeballos attended the exclusive geriatric Los Valles Hospital, where other family members and friends of his were also vaccinated," the groups assured in a joint statement.

In a televised message, Zeballos acknowledged that only his mother was in the nursing home, where only high-income citizens are admitted. 

Ecuador's Attorney General Diana Salazar asked him for the list of people immunized in the vaccination campaign and how many vaccines the pharmaceutical company Pfizer delivered to the country. 

On Jan. 21, Ecuador started its vaccination plan with 8,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine. In the plan's first stage, health workers and the elderly in nursing homes are expected to be immunized.

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