Ecuador declares vaccination against covid-19 mandatory | International

A worker prepares a Pfizer vaccine in Quito (Ecuador).
A worker prepares a Pfizer vaccine in Quito (Ecuador).RODRIGO BUENDIA (AFP)

Ecuador declared vaccination against covid-19 mandatory on Thursday, at a time when the increase in cases of contagion in the country continues, the Ministry of Public Health reported. “In Ecuador, vaccination against covid-19 is mandatory. This decision was made due to the current epidemiological status, that is, the increase in infections and the circulation of new variants of concern, such as omicron ”, indicates the official statement. “It obeys the international trend that shows the speed of contagion and the pressure on health services that have high demand for hospitalization,” he adds.

According to a source from the Ministry of Health consulted by Efe, Ecuador is the first country in Latin America to adopt this decision on a generalized basis. As a legal basis, the Ecuadorian Government has appealed to an article of the Organic Health Law that “declares the mandatory nature of immunizations against certain diseases, under the terms and conditions that the national and local epidemiological reality requires.” The rule makes the Executive responsible for “defining the rules and the basic national immunization scheme” and “providing the population with the necessary elements to comply with it at no cost.” The authorities assure that there are vaccines at this time for the entire population.

The official statement appeals to article 83.7 of the Constitution, which imposes as “the duty of Ecuadorians to promote the common good and put the general interest before the particular interest.” The Government, he adds, has also supported “in several European countries” that “will implement this measure” and recalls the cases of “Germany, Austria and Greece” that will apply it “at the beginning of 2022”.

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The ministry recalled that after the holidays for the Day of the Dead, Independence of Cuenca (early November) and for the Quito Foundation (early December), there has been an increase in cases. Ecuador reported 819 new positives for covid-19 on Wednesday and added a total of 539,037 cases of the disease during the pandemic, while the deaths rose to 33,634, among the 23,815 confirmed with the disease and the 9,819 probable ones.

There is also an increase in the occupancy of beds in medical units, with an occupancy in intensive care units (ICU) that ranges between 24% and 77% in health facilities of the comprehensive health network. According to the ministry, 3,163 samples of confirmed cases of coronavirus have been genotyped in the country, of them 1,748 (55.26%) are of “concern” mutations due to their greater transmissibility, and among these 21 of the omicron variant.

According to official information, until December 21, 12.4 million people had the full schedule (two doses) of vaccines, which represents 77.2% of the 16 million that make up the target population to be vaccinated (from of five years).

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Other measures adopted for the holidays is that as of this Thursday it is necessary to present the vaccination card or certificate with a complete two-dose schedule for all those over 12 years of age who want to access non-essential activities, that is, everything that not work, health and education

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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