Uruguay receives its first doses of covid vaccine on Thursday

First modification: 23/02/2021 – 02:04Last modification: 23/02/2021 – 02:03

Montevideo (AFP)

The president of Uruguay, Luis Lacalle Pou, said on Monday that the first vaccines against covid-19 will arrive in the country on Thursday, the only one in South America that still does not have doses against the coronavirus.

“On the night of (Thursday) 25 and the early morning of (Friday) 26, a shipment of 192,000 doses of the Sinovac vaccine will be arriving,” Lacalle announced at a press conference.

The immunization plan, which will initially cover educators, police, firefighters and the military who are under 60 years old, will begin on March 1.

The first batch of the Chinese vaccine will be supplemented with a second batch of 1,558,000 doses from March 15, the president reported.

Meanwhile, around 460,000 doses of the US Pfizer vaccine are expected to arrive between March 8 and April 26. The first doses from this laboratory, with which the government agreed to purchase two million vaccines, will be reserved for health personnel.

“We would be completing by the month of March around two million doses,” Lacalle Pou said.

The government, which estimates that about 30,000 people will be vaccinated per day, will publish the mechanism to sign up to receive the immunization in the coming days.

The president recalled that vaccination will not be mandatory, but an act of solidarity.

“The government is responding in asking, in exhorting, that it is no longer a matter of personal responsibility but of solidarity with the community (…) We should all act accordingly and get vaccinated,” he said.

After spending most of 2020 as a model in the region for its successful control of the pandemic, Uruguay remained one of the Latin American countries furthest behind in terms of starting vaccination campaigns against the new coronavirus.

The country of 3.4 million inhabitants experienced strong growth in cases starting in November, which in the last month has stabilized. Until this Monday, it totals 53,310 infections and 583 deaths from covid-19.

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