Colombia extends vaccine coverage to persons age 60 and over

As of Friday, anyone age 60 and over can receive the coronavirus vaccine in Colombia. This segment of the population corresponds to the last group in the National Vaccination Plan’s Phase 2.  The country’s Health Minister Fernando Ruíz, age 62, was among the first to be vaccinated and called on citizens to trust in the vaccines that are being distributed nationwide. “We are all going to move forward in this important challenge against COVID-19,” said Ruíz, adding that in the third week of May, the next phase begins and which covers all childcare professionals, teachers and administrative staff of educational institutions. Phase 3 also expands coverage to persons age 50 and over with preexisting medical conditions.

Despite encouraging news that Colombia has sufficient doses available from pharmaceuticals Pfizer, Sinovac and AstraZeneca to vaccinate some 200,000 persons each day, on Friday, while the country reported 17,790 new cases of coronavirus and 490 deaths, the country also neared the 5 million mark of administered doses.

With the tragic surge in deaths with the third wave, and record 505 victims confirmed on Thursday, anti-government protests continue across the country over proposed changes to the country’s tax legislation in order to finance the deficit and economic recession generated by the pandemic. The protests are defying stay-at-home orders decreed by mayors, and strong recommendations from health authorities, for all persons to avoid crowds given that daily cases of new infections continue to surpass 17,000. As of Friday, Colombia reached 2,859,724 total infections and 73,720 deaths, respectively.