“A new record!” wrote Colombian President Iván Duque on Twitter after the country applied 550,823 doses of coronavirus vaccines on Friday. With record vaccinations for a single day, Colombia also crossed the threshold of 27 million jabs, up 2 million from the original target set for July when the National Vaccine Plan was launched on February 17.
With 15.5 million citizens having received a first dose, and 12.2 million who completed their vaccine cycle, 25% of the eligible adult population has now attained some degree of immunity, especially given community spread of variants, among them, the highly infectious Delta. The goal of the Colombian Government is to vaccinate 35.2 million persons by the end of 2021 – equivalent to 70% of the national population. The Ministry of Health has confirmed that it has sufficient vaccines from Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Sinovac, Janssen and Moderna to achieve “herd immunity.”
Until the end of last week, the Ministry of Health was administering an average of 350,000 doses per day. The much-needed boost in the vaccination campaign has been accompanied by a significant drop in daily COVID-19 deaths, with 275 confirmed Sunday, or lowest number since April 9 with 269 fatalities. The death toll after 19 months of the pandemic stands at 120,998.
As of Friday, all persons over the age of 25 years are eligible to get inoculated.
The country also continues a downward trend in per day coronavirus cases – 9,094 reported on Sunday – a number close to those registered during the first week of April, before the surge in third wave infections and that were extended with anti-government protests. The downturn in new cases comes with more persons recovering every day from the disease, or 72,000 still active cases. Active cases across the country have more than halved in a month.
On the weekend that followed record numbers of coronavirus doses nationwide, Bogotá Mayor Claudia López also announced that the fifth millionth dose of the vaccine had been given to 32-year-old Esperanza Preciado. Preciado’s Moderna jab completes 50% of the capital’s eight million residents receiving at least one shot. The five million doses have been administered in 28 vaccination centers and broken down as 2.7 million for first doses and 2.3 million as second doses.
The district’s Health Secretariat Alejandro Gómez – and former Interim Mayor when López was forced to self-isolate with coronavirus) – also confirmed that 95% of all the city’s healthcare workers have received their vaccines.