The health authorities of Chile reported this Thursday that they had already been vaccinated against coronavirus more than 2.5 million people and that the process will continue at the rate stipulated by the official calendar, after the arrival, on the same day, of a fifth shipment of more than 160,000 Pfizer / BioNTech doses.
“This batch allows us to reach more than 4 million vaccines since the vaccination process began on December 24”, affirmed the Undersecretary of Health Paula Daza.
After several mayors alerted last Wednesday about a possible lack of doses that would prevent compliance in their municipalities with the official immunization plan, the undersecretary assured that there are more than 1.3 million vaccines in stock and that they will be distributed “in a timely manner.”
The Government’s objective is to inoculate those over 65 this week and the entire population at risk – almost 5 million people – before the end of the first quarter. It is estimated that up to 80% of the total population could obtain the dose during the first six months of 2021.
Until this Thursday, 16.5% of the 18 million inhabitants of Chile have already received at least one dose of Pfizer and Sinovac, which puts the country at the head of the immunization strategy in the region and the fifth country in the world with the highest percentage of vaccinated citizens.
“As of April 1, all people between 18 and 60 years of age or older will be vaccinated, so let’s not rush and act calmly” added Health Minister Enrique Paris.
The ability to negotiate vaccines, which has served to guarantee 35 million doses from various laboratories and the Covax platform, as well as the wide network of primary care in the country, are two of the key factors that, according to the experts have sped up immunization.
The vaccination coincides with a second wave of the pandemic and with the summer season, which has made crowds frequent on beaches and tourist cities, and which has led authorities to rule out lifting the curfew for now.
Despite this, in the last month, the population that is in total quarantine has decreased from more than 20% to less than 10% and most of the capital is moving towards normality with the opening of bars at the end of week and the cinemas that had been closed practically since the beginning of the pandemic.
In the last 24 hours, there were 3,866 infections and 139 deaths from SARS-CoV-2, which brings the total balance since last March to 788,142 cases and 19,798 deaths.
The positivity rate in the PCR tests – the number of infections detected for every 100 tests performed – in the last 24 hours was 7.5%, after 51,196 PCR tests were performed in the last day.
Chile, which opened its borders in November and requires negative PCR and a 10-day quarantine for all arriving people, is in a state of exception until March and with a curfew between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.