A team of physicians working with the national Emergency Operations Committee is questioning the health ministry’s plan for delivery of Covid-19 vaccines.
According the Health Minister Juan Carlos Zevallos, those who have been infected with the virus will not receive the inoculation. He said that the infected group has already gained immunity that will protect it and can receive the vaccine at a future date.
In addition to those previously infected, Zevallos said that those under 18, those who suffer allergic reaction to medications, pregnant women, women who expect to be pregnant within the next three months and those who are breastfeeding will not be vaccinated.
In particular, the objecting doctors, members of the COE’s Multidisciplinary Consensus Team for the Treatment of Covid-19, believe that those who have been previously infected should receive the vaccine with the rest of the population. “An infected person is not guaranteed long-term immunity and the research on the subject is extremely inexact,” says team member Estuardo Salgado. “The available data suggests that they are very likely at risk of reinfection, so vaccination can prevent new, sometimes more severe cases,” he says.
Salgado also says that the health ministry has not shown how it will determine who has been infected. “Officially, we have only 207,000 confirmed cases but the minister says that 20 percent of the population has been infected. How do we find the three and half million unconfirmed cases of infection? Are we talking about a mass anti-body testing program? We have received no information about this.”
The Multidisciplinary Team also questioned why pregnant and lactating women should not receive the vaccine. “European research shows that this group is not endangered by the vaccine and should receive it with the rest of the population,” Salgado says.
Salgado said he is concerned that restrictions on vaccination are the result of financial concerns. “There is nothing more important than administering the vaccine to the entire population that wants it. I say the government must figure out a way to pay for it if this is an issue.”