Colombia begins vaccinating its over 80 population


Colombians aged 80 and older are now eligible to receive the coronavirus vaccine after the first week in which 48,000 doses were given to health care professionals in the country’s 32 departments and largest cities.

The announcement by the Ministry of Health that the National Vaccine Program enters a new stage with the elderly came with the first shipment of 192,000 doses from Chinese drug manufacturer Sinovac and a second delivery of 50,310 doses from Pfizer. With almost 245,000 doses available this week, 83,000 will be destined to seniors, as well as those healthcare workers who didn’t qualify for the initial batch of 50,000 Pfizer vaccines. The number of over 80 candidates in Bogotá to be among the first to get vaccinated is 171,538. The localities of Suba, Engativá, and Kennedy account for the most seniors among the population and will receive 18,701;16,035 and 14,372 respectively.

The district administration of Mayor Claudia López has also prioritized residents of 500 geriatric homes in the capital.

Colombia’s Food and Drug Surveillance Institute (Invima) announced on Tuesday that it approved the emergency use of the Oxford/AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccines given in order to secure enough doses under the National Vaccine Program given that the government acquired 10 million doses from the pharmaceutical for 2020.

These doses cover 5 million citizens of the country’s 32 million who have been prioritized for inoculation in five categories. Invima director Julio César confirmed that both the Moderna and Janssen vaccines could also get emergency use approval within weeks.

The National Institute of Health (INS) registered an additional 3,953 new cases of coronavirus putting the national total at 2,237.542. From the day’s increase, 1,214 are in Bogotá, followed by Antioquia (705) and Valle del Cauca (378). The total number of active cases continued to lower to stand at 37,361. The virus also claimed 142 victims, 123 of whom died over previous days. The national death toll stands at 59,260.


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