By Elida Moreno
Panama rushes to immunize against COVID-19 due to the possibility of a third wave of infections, To achieve this, you will extend the time of application of the second dose of AstraZeneca vaccine up to 12 weeks, announced the Minister of Health, Luis Sucre.
The Central American country of 4.2 million inhabitants began to immunize last January with the Pfizer vaccine, and since April added AstraZeneca voluntarily applied to men older than 30 years and women from 50 years.
Sucre said that “…the national government has made the decision to use AstraZeneca reserve vaccines ”due to the imminent increase in cases, and the need to guarantee coverage to a greater number of people.
The decision will also allow you to accelerate the vaccination strategy, since they will be able to administer all the existing doses to inoculate more people with at least one dose in the face of the threat of a new regrowth.
New scientific evidence supports that the interval of 4 a 12 weeks between the first and second doses offers similar robust efficacy, according to a report presented by the authorities.
Sucre said that although the existing reserves will be used, they have ensured "... that we will be receiving more shipments of vaccines to be able to cover the commitment to apply the second dose nationwide in a timely manner.".
Until the 1 last June, the country received 314,400 AstraZeneca vaccine dose, of which 70,944 they have already been applied, according to the Ministry of Health.
In total between Pfizer and AstraZeneca, Panama has applied 1,100,689 COVID-19 vaccine dose, added the official report.