With just 16 covid infections per day, Ecuador wins the battle against the coronavirus, after registering highs of almost 70 thousand daily cases in July. Gone are the images of bodies in the streets and desperate families in Guayaquil.
This Monday begins to vaccinate to minors between 12 and 15 years old, following a plan that covers 77% of the population over 16 years of age, in three and a half months, and in order to extend herd immunity before starting the third dose in january to the general population.
The first schoolchildren in that range – until now only those over 16 were vaccinated – will receive this Monday a single dose anticovid-19 from the pharmaceutical company Pfizer.
Is about a “target population” of 1,347,856 adolescents, according to data from the Ministry of Health, which has not been able to specify whether the inoculation will be mandatory or voluntary.
The two most populated provinces, Guayas and Pichincha, have 324,671 and 225,121 minors in that age range, respectively, that is, they concentrate 40.8% of minors. The campaign will take place between this Monday and October 30 and has been in the hands of mobile brigades of the Health Centers that will attend each center.
Minors first, then third doses
In an interview with Efe, President Guillermo Lasso explained on Thursday that his intention is to “extend immunity” before moving on to the third dose for the general population, which he expects to happen in January.
“The next stage begins on Monday, September 13 to vaccinate those under 16 to 12 years of age, and then we will go to the next phase to vaccinate those under 12 years old,” said the president, whose initial plan was get 9 million people vaccinated with complete guideline in his first 100 days of Government.
Having achieved that goal as of September 1, Lasso prefers to extend immunity, pending scientific and medical evaluations regarding the effect of the third dose.
“There are scientific theories that recommend a third dose, it is very likely that we will accept that scientific theory and that, starting next year, from January, we will begin to apply the third dose to all Ecuadorians,” said the president, who specified that It is expected that until the end of this year 80% of the Ecuadorian population will be covered with vaccines against covid-19.
The country has stocks of 4.2 million vaccines until the end of September and about 5.5 million in round numbers for the next few months to complete the two doses or complete vaccination schedule for most of the population.
Adolescent vaccination is left to the Ministries of Education and Public Health, which will work in an articulated manner.
Education will coordinate with the different Health Centers so that the mobile brigades attend the educational units public and private With the purpose that students who are attending classes, either in person or remotely, receive the vaccine, a statement reported.
The school year in the Andean country is celebrated in a mixed way, with just over 3,000 educational centers open, but the rest, which are the vast majority, they are still closed.
For this reason, to undertake the campaign, both Ministries count on those centers that are still closed to guarantee the attendance of their students of the aforementioned age by assigning predetermined shifts.
The objective of the Government with the vaccination of minors is that the expansion of herd immunity allows a greater reopening of classrooms, which would drag a whole complementary activity in transport, food, extracurricular activities, and a long list of parallel services.
“In this way, together with the biosafety protocols established in each institution, we strengthen the guarantee for the progressive return to classrooms in a face-to-face, progressive, controlled and voluntary manner,” the Ministry of Health highlighted.
It will also allow many parents leave your home after more than a year and a half and return to their jobs regularly.
To date, according to the Health statement, 294,102 students aged 16 and over have been vaccinated.