Chile announced on Thursday that it will begin administering the fourth dose of Covid-19 vaccine next Monday to immunosuppressed people and from Feb. 7 to those over 55 who have completed six months since the injection. previous.
The country will be the first in Latin America to offer a fourth dose of immunization against the coronavirus.
“The new omicron variant is rapidly expanding across the world and, although to a much lesser extent, it is also affecting Chile,” Chilean President Sebastián Piñera said in a public appearance.
After the holiday season returned, Chile registered 3,134 new cases of Covid-19 on Thursday, the highest number since the beginning of July, although hospital pressure remains very low and there are still more than 250 beds available for critically ill patients.
The president compared the current situation with that of July 2021, when the daily contagion rate was also around 3,000. According to him, with the same amount of daily cases, 2,167 people needed mechanical ventilation in July, whereas today there are 404. At the time, Chile registered 186 deaths, compared to 30 today.
Infections by the omicron variant are around 700, 80% of which correspond to travelers, mostly from the United States, according to data from the Ministry of Health.
“Experience shows us that the effectiveness of vaccines and also of booster doses decreases with time and, also, with the emergence of new variants”, warned the president.
Piñera also said that a person without complete protection is “six times more likely to become infected and 20 times more likely to be admitted to the ICU” than a person on the booster dose.
In Chile, 90% of the population has already received at least one dose of vaccine against the coronavirus, and more than 86% is already fully vaccinated, according to a survey by Our World in Data, based on official data. Furthermore, 66.8% of Chileans have already received the third dose of the vaccine.
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