Antioquia Surpasses 10 Million Covid-19 Vaccinations; 80% of Colombia Joins-In
The department of Antioquia — including Medellin and all its neighboring cities– has just exceeded 10 million vaccinations against Covid-19, with 67% of the population here now completely vaccinated (in most cases, at least two doses).
This follows on the heels of a simultaneous announcement by Colombia President Ivan Duque that Covid-19 vaccinations nationwide already exceed 80% of the population, with a 70% complete-vaccination-rate fast approaching.
According to the February 18 joint announcement from Colombia’s Health Ministry, the Antioquia departmental government, Universidad Nacional, One Health Genomic Laboratory and Medellin-based electric-power distribution giant ISA (which cooperated in the efforts), Covid-19 vaccinations here have achieved better-than-world-class standards in just 12 months – often matching or even exceeding North American rates.
“With about 277 vaccination posts throughout the department, Antioquia has managed to apply up to 74,386 doses in a single day,” according to the joint announcement.
Antioquia Health Secretary Lina María Bustamante Sánchez added that “we have 83% coverage in first doses and 67% with a complete schedule,” resulting in a dramatic avoidance of Covid-19 hospitalizations and deaths – the latter almost exclusively occurring among the non-vaccinated.
“Where we have had the best rate of vaccination is in the Valle de Aburrá [Medellin metro], Oriente and Suroeste,” Bustamante explained. “In the most remote regions, with problems of public order and displacement, such as Bajo Cauca and Urabá, strategies were created to reach these territories. For that, we have had the alliance with ISA and Universidad Nacional, including a mobile vaccination unit and displacements by helicopters for special vaccination campaigns,” she added.
Commenting on the one-year anniversary of the vaccination campaigns, President Duque added that the government has already spent COP$4.5 trillion (US$1.14 billion) acquiring 104 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines, which are freely given to all residents here.
Since February 17, 2021, when the Covid-19 immunization process began, the national government has already supplied 75.7 million doses, resulting in 71% of all persons over 30 years of age now completely vaccinated.
Vaccinations also have reached the two-dose completion target for 51% of Colombians from 10-to-19-years-old, plus another 28% of children three-to-nine-years-old, according to a February 12 report from the Health Ministry. Childhood vaccinations are now rapidly increasing as Colombia returns to in-person schooling nearly everywhere.