(Citizen Free Press) — A light of optimism, after months of waiting and pain, was opened this Thursday, January 21 in Ecuador, after the government began the pilot plan for vaccination against the Coronavirus focused on the medical personnel of some hospitals and older adults in geriatric centers selected for this phase.
Doctors from Guayaquil and Quito, the cities hardest hit by the pandemic in the country, received the first dose of the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine whose first shipment of 8,000 doses arrived in Ecuador this Wednesday. The Ministry of Health expects to receive more doses weekly until the 86,000 planned for this pilot plan are completed.
Jorge Luis Vélez, head of intensive care at the Pablo Arturo Suárez Hospital in Quito, one of the hospitals focused on treating patients with covid-19, looked excited after receiving the vaccine.
“It is the beginning of something great! I feel for the first time that I have a hope that this will begin to shovel, and I am not saying for me, I say for all the people who work with me, for the postgraduate doctors, for the specialist doctors who day by day try to shovel the pain from this epidemic. Today I believe that science opens up the possibility of shoveling this pain away and I hope that the Ministry of Health can little by little reach all of us who are on the front line,” he said.
In addition, Vélez told his family history around the pandemic and his fears when treating chronic patients for covid-19.
“I was the father of twins and in this time getting home has been so hard, so difficult, because one arrives with the guilt that suddenly one can carry the virus, that one’s family gets infected, that is something that takes away from us sleep and that we are in a stage of permanent stress,” added the intensive care physician.
Health personnel from the Guasmo General Hospital in Guayaquil and the Quito Military Hospital also received the vaccine. More public hospitals will continue to join this process.
The first doses of vaccines will be distributed in the 24 provinces of the country, in 96 health units. “No province will be left out,” said Health Minister Juan Carlos Zevallos.
The Ecuadorian government continues to negotiate the purchase of more vaccines against covid-19 with other pharmaceutical companies such as AstraZeneca and the global initiative Covax, led by the World Health Organization (WHO). 2 million doses of Pfizer / BioNTech vaccines are expected to arrive gradually from March, according to President Lenín Moreno.
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