As of this Monday, immunocompromised people over 12 years of age will be able to receive the fourth dose of the vaccine against covid-19 in Chile.
And in February all people over 55 who received the third dose of the vaccine six months ago will be able to access it.
In this way Chile becomes in the first country in Latin America, and the second in the world -After Israel- which applies a fourth dose in the process of vaccination against covid.
This was announced on January 6 by President Sebastián Piñera during his daily balance of the pandemic.
“The world and Chile have been suffering the devastating consequences of the pandemic caused by covid-19 for more than two years and today due to the new omicron variant the world is having record levels of infections,” said Piñera.
That is why, he added, that “as of next Monday, January 10, we will begin a new massive vaccination process with a fourth dose or a second booster dose, which will begin with immunocompromised people because they need to reinforce their schedule. with greater urgency ”.
Piñera appreciated the success that Chile has had in the vaccination process and the low mortality rates during the pandemic.
This, he indicated, “is the merit of all Chileans and places us among the best countries in the world in the way we have managed to combat this pandemic.”
Indeed, Chile has carried out one of the most successful inoculation campaigns in the world.
It was one of the first countries in Latin America to start vaccinating its population against covid-19.
The vaccination process could be carried out despite the high worldwide demand that existed at that time for vaccines and the limited production capacity.
Thus, the Chilean immunization campaign, which has been voluntary until now, has reached more than 92% of the population (of 19 million inhabitants) of people over 18 years of age who have completed the vaccination scheme.
Likewise, 5,612,633 doses have been administered to people between the ages of three and 17.
However, there are still 1.6 million people who have not had the third dose.
And the arrival of the omicron variant in the country, as has happened in the rest of the world, has meant an increase in the number of infections.
According to data from the Chilean Ministry of Health, on Thursday, January 5, after the return of the Christmas holidays, the country registered 3,134 new cases of the infection, the highest figure since the beginning of July.
The agency indicated that a month after the first infection of the omicron variant was detected, cases now reach 700, of which 95% come from travelers.
Piñera, who will finish his second non-consecutive term on March 11, urged those who have not been immunized to do so.
“I want to make a new, urgent and urgent appeal to the laggards, who are still many and who at this point are very stubborn, to get vaccinated now,” he said.
Chile thus ranks first in vaccination rates in Latin America.
According to data from the statistics site ourworldindata.org, Chile and Cuba lead the total percentages of vaccination in the region, followed by Argentina and Uruguay.
At the opposite extreme is Haiti, with just over 1% of its population vaccinated (only 0.62% with the full scheme).
That country and Guatemala (where 35% of the population is immunized) are not going to reach the goal imposed by the WHO of protecting at least 40% of the population with both doses.
According to data from ourworldindata.org, the pandemic has caused 1.8 million infections in Chile and more than 39,200 deaths (as of January 9, 2022).
Now you can receive notifications from BBC Mundo. Download our app and activate them so you don’t miss our best content.