This morning, aboard a commercial flight and under strict temperature monitoring, the first coronavirus vaccines arrived in Chile, which would begin to be applied during this same day. President Sebastián Píñera promised yesterday when reporting the shipment to the country of the first batch of 10 thousand doses developed by Pfizer and BioNTech.
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Vaccines left at 5:00 a.m. yesterday morning from Puurs, a small Belgian town of 26,000 people who have two production centers supplying the UK, Mexico and European Union countries, as well as now Chile.
The representative assured that once the doses arrive vaccination would begin today, which was ratified by the Undersecretary of Public Health, Paula Daza. «We are ready and prepared, » guaranteed the head of state.
Dosages will be used to inoculate staff working at the UCIs of La Araucanía, Biobío, Magallanes and the Metropolitan. In the first three, the initial plan envisages providing coverage to all professionals caring for critical patients, while a third of officials will initially be vaccinated in the capital.
More risk groups, such as older adults, the chronically ill and law enforcement, will be prioritized at a later stage, protecting nearly 5 million people.
From the National Confederation of Municipal Health Workers (Confusam) and the Chilean Society of Critical Emergency Medicine called for consideration among the first vaccinated health personnel working in SAPUs, SARS and hospital emergency units, as they are the first to have contact with potential infected patients.
Piñera emphasized that the process will be «gradual» and that the next vaccines to cover more groups of the population will be reaching the country «periodically and systematically».
Alistan new arrival
The Currency detailed that next week a second batch of vaccines will arrive, with an un-reported amount of drugs but which could complete the initial 20,000 doses that the President had committed in the national chain last week.
Leading the logistics and coordination of vaccine arrivals, Undersecretary of International Economic Relations Rodrigo Yáñez detailed in Emol that in two more weeks the number of doses arriving in the country would begin to increase, while in February it is planned to have the inoculation campaign in «full gear» with the eventual approval of the development of Sinovac, a laboratory that has agreements with Chile.
The antidote to the Chinese laboratory does not yet have international authorizations for use, unlike Pfizer. Despite this in Brazil, which will be the main producer of Sinovac vaccines in the region, they have advanced their processing while waiting to know during these days the results of the efficacy tests, to start their analysis for emergency use.
Between contracts with the Chinese firm and the Belgian company, in addition to agreements with AstraZeneca, Janssen and the Covax fund, the country is guaranteed more than 30 million vaccines, Piñera recalled yesterday.
The Minister of Health, Enrique Paris, called the start of the vaccination process «good news», but stressed that self-care measures should be maintained as «the pandemic is not over». The same recommendation was delivered by Jeannette Dabanch, an infectologist coordinating the vaccine and immunization advisory council, who called for the process to be «ordered» and for people to wait for patients to arrive at doses in order to be vaccinated.