Colombia receives first COVID-19 shots, vaccination may begin early
BOGOTA (Reuters) – Colombia’s first COVID-19 vaccines – 50,000 doses from Pfizer Inc – have arrived in the Andean country, President Ivan Duque said on Monday, ahead of a possible early rollout of inoculations.
The government had planned to administer the first dose on Saturday, but could begin vaccinations several days earlier, the health ministry said in a statement.
The government said last week it was expecting to receive more than 5.7 million doses from different providers in February and March.
“Today our country is receiving the first batch of vaccines to be dispersed and save lives,” Duque said at capital city Bogota’s El Dorado airport following the vaccines’ arrival.
The first shipment of Pfizer vaccines came via Belgium, Duque said in an earlier televised statement.
The goal is to vaccinate 1 million Colombians in the first 30 days, Duque said, and Monday’s shipment is the first of a block of 1.65 million which will arrive over the next three weeks.
The country has the capacity to conduct up to 100,000 vaccinations per day, the health ministry added.
Front-line healthcare workers will be the first to be vaccinated, followed by those over 80 years old.
Colombia has recorded more than 2.1 million cases of coronavirus.
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