Chile surpassed the five million people who have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, a figure that encompasses the entire population at risk and which arrived 15 days before those initially planned in the inoculation plan.
Chilean President Sebastián Piñera said “We have achieved our goal, which has undoubtedly been a very difficult job and has meant the contribution of hundreds of thousands of people.”
Of the five million citizens who started the vaccination, 2.1 million have already received the two doses, including adults over 70 years of age, health workers, teachers and members of the security forces.
The next goal set by the Government, which has guaranteed 35 million doses from various laboratories and the Covax platform of the World Health Organization (WHO), is to inoculate the rest of the target population before June (about 15 million people out of a total population of 19 million).
Since the massive inoculation process began on February 3, Chile has been advancing by leaps and bounds and is already the fourth country in the world that has more people inoculated (more than 36% of the population) behind Israel, United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom, according to the One World Data registry of the University of Oxford.
The advance negotiation of vaccines, as well as the extensive network of primary care are two of the key factors that have accelerated immunization.
“Believe me, ensuring vaccines for all Chileans has been an extraordinarily difficult task and full of obstacles, but we have accomplished it,” acknowledged the conservative president, who announced that in the next few days new shipments will arrive with 4 million more vaccines and that the inoculation of the population between 50 and 59 years will begin on March 24.
Chile, which has already added 900,782 infected and 21,789 deaths in one year, is immersed in a second wave, with daily figures similar to last June, when the pandemic was at its worst and the hospital network was on the verge of collapse.
“This successful mass vaccination is a great ally, a tremendous help, but we do not have to lower our guard,” added Piñera, who has improved his citizen approval with the vaccination process after having been highly questioned during the first months of the pandemic and after the 2019 protests.