PERU - At a Disadvantage for Covid Vaccines

Arno Froese

Peru is classified by the World Bank as “upper middle-income.” So it has some money to spend on vaccines but not nearly the financial resources of the U.S., the European Union or even wealthier neighbors like Brazil or Chile. But it’s not poor enough to qualify for free doses from COVAX, the global program aimed at assuring equitable access to vaccines. 

“Peru has been trying to negotiate with almost all the main vaccine producers,” says Ernesto Ortiz, a senior manager with the Duke Global Health Innovation Center. “But for different reasons, some of those negotiations have been more difficult than others.” Ortiz, who grew up in Peru, visited the country in January.

Political instability has also complicated things. In November when other countries were signing deals for vaccines that might be coming down the pipeline, Peru had three different presidents over the course of one week.

The stakes are high because of Peru’s current COVID outlook. “Right now, the transmission in the community is very, very, very high,” says Cesar Ugarte, an assistant professor of medicine at the Universidad Peruana Cayetano in Lima. “The ICU beds are now totally full. The oxygen in some facilities has run out. We are starting to see a situation like in May, June, July when the last peaks were here.”

And so far the only COVID vaccines that have arrived in the country have been for clinical trials. The first shipment of doses purchased for general distribution is expected to arrive from the Chinese-government backed pharmaceutical company Sinopharm. The shipment of 1 million doses will be used for health-care and other essential workers but is a tiny portion of what the country of 33 million people will need to contain the virus. 

As President Sagasti said, Peruvians have lost more than just loved ones and jobs to the pandemic. “We have also lost the freedom to hug each other, to hold hands, to visit our friends and family,” the president said. “It’s difficult, I admit it.” He promised that Peru will get the vaccines it needs to immunize its entire population by the end of 2021. His ability to keep that promise could depend on companies outside of Peru and forces outside of Peru’s control.

-www.npr.org, 4 February 2021

Arno's Commentary

The country of about 30 million people, with a life expectancy of 70.7 years, has a very low per-capita GDP of $8,500 (2008).

One of the difficult issues is political instability. As the article indicates, “Peru had three different presidents over the course of one week.”

Religiously, the CIA Factbook lists Peru as 81.3% Roman Catholic, with 12.5% Evangelical Christians. 

It is of interest that potatoes, a staple for the Western world, originated in Peru. So did our well-beloved tomatoes, for which lands of origin are listed as Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, and Chile. Maize (corn) also comes from the Andes. Yet these blessings have not helped the population in the countries of the Andes. Life without potatoes, corn, and tomatoes is almost unthinkable in the Western world.

What is Peru’s future? They too will have to be integrated into the successful system of globalism. That means modernizing everything according to Western standards and technology, with political principles based on Roman law. However, in the very end, all nations of the world will be obliterated, as recorded in 2 Peter 3:12: “Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?” However, those who are believers have this promise: “Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness” (verse 13).

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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