Uruguay’s Tale of COVID-19, Medicine, and Vaccination
Pandemic National Case Studies
“That which is done at night appears in the day.” -Uruguayan proverb
Uruguay provides an interesting pandemic case study insofar as it’s a nation outside of the political limelight. The nation of 3.5 million sits between the far larger neighbors of Brazil and Argentina. The majority of the population lives in the international trade center and capital of Montevideo, which is the place to be if you want to hear indigenous South Americans curse in Italian, weirdly.
While I was researching for this article, a friend of mine who lives there told me that Uruguay is beautiful, and I should come visit him there. So, I searched for some pictures, and he’s not wrong.
Uruguay’s Early Pandemic Success
During the first few months of the pandemic, Uruguay was held up as a model for success due to its extremely low COVID-19 case and mortality statistics.
Through October 2020, Uruguay reported just 58 COVID-19 deaths and a little over 3,000 cases. American media was there to tell us that this is because Uruguayans did a better job with education and public health:
The Uruguayan system was prepared for this before the actual disease arrived. So we were able to get to work more or less a month ahead of it. And we realized that everyone of us – the public, the health and science community, the government, including the political opposition which has supported the government in this – is part of the solution. It’s been a solid response with very few fractures if any. Not allowing either too much fear or too much indifference to take over. This is when it pays to have an educated country.
The article goes on to highlight contact tracing, mask wearing, keeping those darn Brazilians out, and progressive ideology:
Uruguay has recorded the lowest number of COVID-19 cases and deaths per capita in South America, if not the entire western hemisphere. The small but progressive country has done that despite sitting right next door to Brazil – which has the world’s second-highest number of COVID-19 infections and fatalities behind the U.S.
What they failed to note is that Uruguay was among the nations to which India shipped hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) after lifting its export ban in April.
Later in 2020, Uruguayan scientists published a study showing that ivermectin reduced viral load and disease caused by mouse hepatitis virus (MHV), which is, like SARS-CoV-2, a Type 2 single-stranded RNA virus (Arévalo et al, 2020). While I could not find good statistics on IVM usage in Uruguay, it is notably available there in pharmacies.
Uruguay was also one of the nations where nasal sprays were tested and found to be highly effective at reducing symptomatic cases (Figueroa et al, 2021). Despite the fact that we do not have good statistics on prophylactic or early treatment medication, it seems very possible that Uruguayans were doing their own homework, and without pharmacies restricting their options.
Uruguay’s Experimental Mass Vaccination Program
Hold on to your hats, folks. Things are really starting to heat up in Uruguay where last month a judge ordered a halt to the vaccination of children, and for Pfizer to reveal the contents of the vaccines. In fact, the judge ordered a fast turnaround (not a ten month trickling of documents) on all the company’s documents regarding vaccine efficacy. But as Children’s Health Defense reported, Pfizer is refusing to turn over certain documents, pointing to contractual stipulations.
I’m told that Uruguay is a nation that generally trusts its ally, the U.S., which is perhaps why Uruguay dove as hard as nearly any nation in the world into its mass quasi-vaccination campaign. More than 7 out of 8 Uruguayans have been vaccinated so far, and most of those by the end of the Winter in the Southern Hemisphere:
The vaccination program began in Uruguay on February 27. So, what happened after that which led the Uruguayan government to bring Pfizer to court?
Almost immediately after Uruguay began injecting Pfizer and Sinopharm products, COVID-19 cases and deaths, which were previously almost non-existent in Uruguay, exploded upward. Uruguay went from having one of the lowest COVID-19 case rates in the world, to the top 30 among nations with populations over a million.
Something else changed, also. During the early weeks of 2021, Uruguay’s case fatality rate (deaths per COVID-19 case) went from around 1% to up over 1.5% where it remained through the end of the year. That is, not only did COVID-19 cases explode in Uruguay following the introduction of the quasi-vaccines, but the cases were more deadly on average.
Reuters reported this as follows:
Being charitable, maybe people in the Uruguayan government didn’t get COVID as much?
Somehow, I doubt it.
Excess mortality skyrocketed in Uruguay right in line with the mass vaccination program, starting and leveling off almost in tandem.
I’m sometimes unsure how to wrap these pandemic case study articles up. Do your own research. Make up your own minds. Take a good look at the world, and start thinking about what sorts of things you can do to project a positive change. Hug your kids and think long and hard about what you have them put in their bodies.
Addendum: Jean-Pierre Kiekens of COVEXIT broken the sad news to me that after a 19 day ban on the vaccination of children in Uruguay, the courts broke down under pressure and allowed the experimental mass vaccination campaign to continue.