Tuesday, October 19

Chile and Ecuador go ahead in South America and authorize the Pfizer vaccine | Society

A health worker walks in front of the Chilean Public Health Institute in Santiago, after he authorized the use of the Pfizer vaccine.
A health worker walks in front of the Chilean Public Health Institute in Santiago, after he authorized the use of the Pfizer vaccine.Esteban Felix / AP

Chile and Ecuador have authorized the vaccine against covid-19 from the US laboratory Pfizer, following in the footsteps of Mexico, which last week became the first country in the region to approve it. In Santiago de Chile, it was decided unanimously on Wednesday by a group of 22 experts and pharmaceutical chemists from the Institute of Public Health (ISP), the local regulatory agency. Ecuador will receive its first 50,000 doses in January, which will be applied free of charge to first-line health personnel and to those who reside or work in geriatric centers.

The president of Chile, Sebastián Piñera has detailed the details of the immunization plan for his country tonight on a national chain, where 15,959 people have already died since March and there are signs of a resurgence of the pandemic, which opens the danger of a second wave of the disease, with 1,402 new cases in the last 24 hours. According to the president, before the end of this year the first 20,000 doses of Pfizer will arrive (which will reach 10,000 people) and the health workers of intensive care units will begin to be vaccinated against covid-19. The other priority groups will be people deployed in the emergency, the elderly and the chronically ill – starting with those who are in residences – and other groups at risk. “All vaccines in Chile will have the seal of efficacy and safety,” the president has indicated.

The request for emergency approval of the vaccine developed by Pfizer and Germany’s BioNTech, which requires refrigeration at 70 ° C below zero, entered the ISP on November 27. The Chilean government has an agreement with Pfizer to send enough doses to vaccinate five million people, but the first would arrive from next Sunday. The Chinese laboratory Sinovac, meanwhile, has committed vaccines for another five million people, which will begin to arrive before January 15. According to the Executive’s plan, about 15 million people will be immunized, out of a population of 17.5 million. The Executive has informed that, additionally, agreements have been reached with Oxford and AstraZeneca and Janssen / Johnson & Johnson. The South American country is part of the Covax alliance – led by the WHO – which would allow it to access another number of doses.

The Ecuadorian government, meanwhile, approved the Pfizer-BioNTEch vaccine against covid-19 on Tuesday night. The first 50,000 doses will arrive from January, according to the Minister of Health, Juan Carlos Zevallos, and will be distributed to two of the population groups most exposed to the disease: first-line health personnel and those who reside or work in geriatric centers. . That first stage of vaccination, called phase zero, will be completed in March with the second dose of the vaccine. For that date, the arrival of new additional doses destined for the vulnerable population, the rest of the health workers and other State security bodies, such as police and firefighters, is also expected.

The Ecuadorian Minister of Health has ratified the intention to vaccinate nine million citizens in 2021, 60% of the population, but leaving out those who have already been infected. The latest Health measurement reaches 203,500 positive cases in the country in 10 months, since the first case was detected at the end of February. In addition, 13,915 deaths have been counted among confirmed and with covid-19 as a probable cause of death.

The vaccine will be distributed in Ecuador free of charge from sentinel hospitals and vaccination points. To do this, work is being done to achieve the logistics that guarantee the cold chain required by the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. According to the authorities, between 10,000 and 15,000 people are also being trained for the mass vaccination process that will start in March and will extend to the rest of the year for those over 18 years of age. That includes phases 2 and 3 of Pfizer, as well as the arrival of the other options that are already in negotiation with Ecuador: Covaxx, Oxford and AstraZeneca and Covax Facility.


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