Vaccination program begins for area seniors

Mar 24, 2021 | 5 comments

Almost 20,000 adults over 65 in Azuay, Cañar and Morona Santiago Provinces were vaccinated on Monday and Tuesday as the Ministry of Health begins its 60-day program to vaccinate all seniors. The first to receive shots against the Covid-19 virus were those with serious physical disabilities or chronic illnesses.

A Cuenca man receives his first vaccine Monday. (El Mercurio)

In addition to the vulnerable elderly, another 4,680 vaccines were given to health care and emergency workers as well as those providing essential services who interact with the public. Of the vaccines administered to the elderly, 17,640 were from Pfizer and 1,929 were Sinovac, donated to Ecuador from the government of Chile.

According to Azuay Governor José Jaramillo, the vaccinations will continue for all seniors registered with the government’s program as more vaccine shipments arrive in the country. “We are confident that that vaccine supplies will be available to meet our deadline of vaccinating all those over 65 by the end of May,” he said. “The schedule for the remainder of the population will depend on shipments and we continue to make arrangements with pharmaceutical companies to meet our need.”

Jaramillo said that Cuenca and Azuay Province expect to receive about 150,000 vaccines from the World Health Organization’s COVAX program, which will include shots from a variety of companies. COVAX is aimed at developing countries who have difficulty obtaining vaccines directly from manufacturers. The program received a major boost Monday when the maker of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine announced will contribute hundreds of millions of vaccines.


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