President Piñera announces details of the inoculation plan against COVID-19: “The signed contracts will enable us to distribute 20 million doses of the vaccine in the first half of next year”
President Piñera described the plan for vaccinating against COVID in Chile as well as the immunization process for all people aged over 16 in Chile over the coming months.
At the event, which took place at La Moneda Palace, the President provided additional details regarding the announcement made on national television. He officially announced that, in the coming days, Chile would receive the first shipment of 20,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine, which will be distributed to the target population before year-end.
To date, the Government holds or is at a very advanced stage of negotiations for agreements or contracts to guarantee 10 million doses from the Pfizer-Biontech laboratory and 10 million doses from Sinovac. When added to the agreements with AstraZeneca-Oxford and Janssen-Johnson & Johnson laboratories and the COVAX Alliance, they total more than 30 million doses.
“The signed contracts will enable us to distribute 20 million doses of vaccine in the first half of next year, subject to national and international approval and the supply capacity of the laboratories,” said President Piñera. He was accompanied by First Lady Cecilia Morel, Health Minister Enrique Paris, Science Minister Andrés Couve, Interior Minister Rodrigo Delgado, Foreign Affairs Minister Andrés Allamand, Health Undersecretary Paula Daza, International Economic Relations Undersecretary Rodrigo Yáñez, along with a group of people who were important to the development of the inoculation plan.
At the event, the President listed the phases of the vaccination plan:
The first step of this process, which is already complete, is exploration and vaccine safety. This involved deploying our ambassadors worldwide in search of the best vaccine alternatives and the willingness of the scientific and academic community to participate and support leading laboratories in the different research conducted to find it.
The second step, which is also complete for Pfizer, is vaccine approval and establishing priority groups.
Finally, the third step, which will begin for Pfizer before year-end, is logistics and operations. This includes all the measures required to ensure correct receipt of the vaccines at the airport, transportation to the warehouses that have been specially equipped to handle the vaccines, and subsequent distribution to the proper population.
“Vaccines are an act of solidarity. They don’t just protect the health and lives of those who get the vaccine. They also protect the health and lives of our loved ones, high-risk groups, like senior citizens, the chronically ill, healthcare personnel and the entire community because they prevent or reduce the spread of the virus,” said President Piñera.
In line with expert advice, the Government will adhere to the recommendation made by the Advisory Committee on Vaccination and Immunization (Comité Asesor en Vacunación e Inmunizaciones, CAVEI) in terms of who will receive this first set of doses.
Vaccination will begin this month with individuals who work in our health system’s critical care units in the regions with the highest incidence of the Coronavirus, which include the Biobío, Araucanía and Magallanes regions and some of the healthcare personnel in the Metropolitan Region.