Coronavirus in Chile NATIONAL

Chile’s Mass Vaccination Program Starts Wednesday

SANTIAGO – Following the arrival of an additional two million doses of Sinovac vaccines, the Chilean Health Ministry is confident that its coronavirus inoculation program will go to plan on Feb. 3, with doses reaching the far north and southern regions of the country.

During Monday’s daily briefing, Health Minister Enrique Paris highlighted the efforts that went into Chile’s Covid-19 vaccination plan, which “has been in the works since May of last year.” Overall, the goal is to inoculate 15 million people in the first half of 2021, arranged by age and risk groups.

The first stage of the program prioritizes the elderly, focusing on those age 85 and older, as well as healthcare staff and residents at long-term care establishments. Vaccinations will take place at public and private health centers.

In the second week starting Feb. 8, inoculations will take place for those age 70 and over, and will expand to critical government workers and officials (including the police and armed forces), and staff at drug stores, laboratories, and those who work in critical services that require close contact with people.

Crowding is one of the many concerns surrounding older patients, so some local authorities have indicated that they will be offering home visits to those who are age 65 and older. This is the case in Talca, where mayor Juan Carlos Díaz has asked residents with mobility problems to stay home because the vaccine will come to them, following the calendar provided by the government.

As of Feb. 1, nearly 57,000 people have received their first doses of the coronavirus vaccine and almost 10,500 have received their second and final dose. Further dates for the vaccination program have yet to be announced on the government’s website.

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