In the heart of the southern summer, Monday January 10, Chile began administering the fourth dose of the vaccine against Covid-19. Immunocompromised people over the age of 12 and whose last injection was more than four months old were called upon to tighten their arms, or about 130,000 people, according to the details of the Ministry of Health.
Chile thus becomes the first Latin American country to implement this new recall, in line with a vaccination policy that has always placed it among the most effective countries in the world in this area. More than 92% of the target population over 18 has completed their vaccination schedule, while, at the end of November 2021, the government announced to extend the campaign to children from the age of 3.
The outgoing Head of State, Sebastian Piñera (right, who will give way to President-elect Gabriel Boric, left, on March 11), thus welcomed the “Success” from Chile: “With this fourth dose, we seek to maintain this leadership and protect the health and lives of our compatriots. ” He justified: “Experience has shown that the effectiveness of vaccines and boosters decreases over time and with the appearance of new variants. “
From February 7, those over 55 who have received a third dose for at least six months will in turn be eligible for a booster (nearly 260,000 people). The third dose was deployed in August, and more than 11 million people received it, for a population of 19 million.
Lower efficacy of Sinovac
Since the start of the campaign, Chile, yet logistically challenged by its geography, the country stretching over 4,000 kilometers along the Pacific Ocean, has been able to rely on a dense local health network and a strong culture of immunization. While other countries in the region suffered delivery delays or stumbled over discussions with laboratories, the country, from the start of 2021, insured its stocks, anticipating negotiations, first with China, its first partner. commercial. However, it was the lower efficacy of the Chinese Sinovac vaccine that quickly highlighted the importance of a booster dose. Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines are also injected.
A month after the first case of the Omicron variant, confirmed on December 4, Chile recorded a rebound in new contaminations. On January 6, the country had the largest number of daily positive tests since July 8, 2021. The Minister of Health, Enrique Paris, on that day, underlined “The notable difference” between the two pandemic realities. “On July 8, we had 2,167 people in intensive care, on respiratory assistance, compared to only 404 today. (…), then we deplored the deaths of 186 people compared to 30 today. “ On January 12, Chile recorded more than 4,800 new cases – with a positivity rate of around 7% – still far from the peak of more than 8,000 additional cases reached in June 2021. “I want to be frank, this figure will increase”, however warned the Chilean president on Monday January 10.