Covid-19: Chile deploys fourth dose of vaccine

At the heart of the austral summer, Monday January 10, Chile began to administer the fourth dose of vaccine against Covid-19. Immunocompromised people over the age of 12 and whose last injection dates back more than four months have been called upon to extend their arms, i.e. around 130,000 people, according to details from the Ministry of Health.

Chile thus becomes the first country in Latin America to implement this new booster, 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 the age of 18 has completed their vaccination schedule, while, from the end of November 2021, the government announced that it would 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. »

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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 effectiveness of Sinovac

Since the start of the campaign, Chile, although logistically challenged by its geography, the country stretching over more than 4,000 kilometers along the Pacific Ocean, has been able to rely on a dense local health network. and a strong culture of vaccination. While other countries in the region suffered delivery delays or stumbled over discussions with laboratories, the country, from the beginning of 2021, ensured its stocks, anticipating negotiations, first with China, its first partner. commercial. However, it was the lesser effectiveness of the Chinese Sinovac vaccine that quickly highlighted the importance of a booster dose. Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines are also injected.

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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 recorded the highest number of daily positive tests since July 8, 2021. The Minister of Health, Enrique Paris, on that day, underlined “the noticeable difference” between the two pandemic realities. “On July 8, we had 2,167 people in intensive care, on life support, compared to just 404 today. (…), we then deplored the death 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.

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Covid-19: Chile deploys fourth dose of vaccine