Minister of Health Ximena Garzón announced Wednesday that all Ecuadorians will be eligible to receive Covid-19 booster shots in January. Currently, only those over 65 and those with chronic illnesses can get them.
“We will have sufficient doses for everyone who wants a booster in January,” Garzón said during a virtual press conference. “We will use the same procedures we used for our successful 9/100 vaccine campaign, using the same locations as well as the health workers who will visit rural communities.” She added that boosters can be given six months after receiving the second dose of the original vaccine.
According to a follow-up Health Ministry statement, most boosters will be AstraZeneca although Pfizer doses may be given in some cases.
Garzón said that the vaccination program is on track to inoculate 85 percent of the population by the end of December, providing what she says is “effective herd immunity.” In addition to the continuation of the booster program for the elderly and the immunocompromised, she said that first and second doses are being given school-age children from five to 16.
The Health Ministry reports a “small increase” in Covid cases nationwide but says this was expected following the holidays two weeks ago. “This is not unusual given the events that took place. In general, we are doing very well in controlling the pandemic but encourage citizens to continue to take precautions, such as masking and social distancing.”