Ecuador begins Monday to vaccinate minors aged 12-15 against COVID-19: ‘We want to expand herd immunity’
Ecuador On Monday, she begins vaccinating minors aged 12-15, following a plan that covers 77% of the population over the age of 16, over three and a half months, and in order to expand herd immunity before starting the third dose in January for the general population.
The first schoolchildren in that range — so far only those over 16 who have been vaccinated — will receive a single dose of antiviral-19 from drugmaker Pfizer on Monday. That’s the “target population” of 1,347,856 teenagers, according to health ministry data, which was unable to say whether vaccination would be mandatory or voluntary.
The two most populous provinces, Guayas and Pichincha, have 324,671 and 225,121 minors in that age group, respectively, that is, they focus on 40.8% of minors.
The campaign will be held between Monday and October 30, and will be in the hands of mobile battalions of health centers that will go to each center.
Minors 1st and 3rd dose
In an interview with Efe, President Guillermo Lasso on Thursday made it clear He intends to “expand immunity” before moving to the third dose for the general population, which he expects to happen in January.
The next stage begins On Monday, September 13th to vaccinate those under 16 to 12 years old, and then we will move to the next stage to vaccinate those under 12 years old.He highlighted the president, whose initial plan was to vaccinate 9 million people on a full schedule in his first 100 days in office.
Having achieved this goal as of September 1, Lasso prefers to expand immunity, pending scientific and medical evaluations regarding the effect of the third dose.
“There are scientific theories that recommend a third dose, and it is very likely that we will accept that scientific theory, and that starting next year, starting in January, we will start applying the third dose to all Ecuadoreans,” the president said. Specifically, it is expected that by the end of this year 80% of the population of Ecuador will be covered by vaccines against COVID-19.
The country has a stockpile of 4.2 million vaccines as of the end of September and about 5.5 million in approximate numbers for the next few months to complete the two doses or full vaccination schedule for most of the population.
Adolescent vaccination is in the hands of the Ministries of Education and Public Health, which will work in coordination. Education will be coordinated with various health centers so that mobile brigades attend public and private educational units so that students who attend classes, either in person or remotely, receive the vaccine, a statement said.
The school year in the Andean country is celebrated in a mixed way, with just over 3,000 educational centers open, but the rest, the vast majority, are still closed. For this reason, in order to carry out the campaign, the two ministries are relying on the fact that those centers that remain closed will ensure the attendance of their students at the above age by allocating pre-set shifts.
The government’s goal in vaccinating minors is to expand herd immunity to allow classrooms to reopen further, which would withdraw all supplementary activities in transportation, food, extracurricular activities and a long list of parallel services.
“In this way, along with the biosafety protocols established in each institution, we enhance the assurance of a gradual return to the classroom in a face-to-face, gradual, controlled and voluntary manner,” The Ministry of Health highlighted.
It will also allow many parents to leave home after more than a year and a half and return to their jobs regularly. So far, according to the health statement, 294,102 students aged 16 and over have been vaccinated.
(With information from EFE)