Chile becomes the first country in Latin America to administer the fourth dose of vaccine against covid-19

Immunosuppressed people are the first to receive the second booster dose, although vaccination will be extended from February 7.

Photo: Alberto Valdes / EFE

Chile became the first country in Latin America to administer the fourth dose against covid-19, and in turn, it is the second in the world, after Israel also administered a fourth reinforcement, news that occurs in the midst of a wave of infections driven by the Omicron variant.

“We are starting the fourth dose. Why? First, because Vaccines lose efficacy over time, the protection they generate is decreasing and, secondly, because the new variants also make vaccines lose strength ”, explained Chilean President Sebastián Piñera.

Chile, one of the countries with the highest coronavirus vaccination rate, began this Monday to administer the fourth dose to immunocompromised people, in the midst of an outbreak of infections due to the Omicron variant.

Piñera explained that the vaccination process, in this first stage, is aimed at immunodepressed people over 12 years of age who have received the previous dose more than four months ago. In this group, dialysis patients, with organ transplants and cancer treatment are considered.

As of February 7, vaccination with the fourth dose will begin for all those over 55 years of age, and then go down in age. In Chile, the coronavirus vaccine was authorized for all those over three years of age.

The country surpassed 4,000 cases registered in one day on Friday, the highest number in six months. The government expects that they will reach 10,000 a day but that as a result of the high coverage of vaccination they will not skyrocket as in other countries.

“The number of infected people is going to increase, but the most important thing is that these infections are going to be milder and, therefore, the number of people who require hospitalization will probably also increase, but much less”, reassured the president.

The conservative president, who will leave power on March 11, assured that the fourth vaccine “increases by 20 times the protection that a person has compared to another who does not have a complete vaccination“.

Until January 6, according to data from the Department of Health Statistics and Information (DEIS), 87.4% of the population over three years of age in Chile has the complete vaccination schedule and 69.9% have received a first booster dose.

Piñera called “stubborn” those who have not yet been vaccinated and said that “they are committing irresponsibility”: “The vaccine is safe, it is effective and, if they do not get vaccinated, they will become infected and they will infect their families” added. Since the start of the pandemic, the country has registered 1.8 million infections and more than 39,200 deaths.

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