Colombia Tops 70 Million Vaccinations Against Covid-19
Colombia Health Minister Fernando Ruiz announced this morning (January 24) that total vaccinations against Covid-19 here have now surpassed 70 million.
What’s more, as of January 22, 2022, 30.78 million Colombians had received complete dosages (in most cases two shots, or else the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine).
In addition, 5.1 million Colombians have now gotten a “reinforcement” dose (in most cases, a third shot), according to Minister Ruiz (see graphic, above).
Meanwhile, Health Ministry epidemiology director Julián Fernández announced January 21 that the Omicron variant continues as the overwhelming type of Covid-19 now found here.
Nationwide, more than 90,000 Colombians are (on average) tested daily for Covid-19, and “peak” Omicron infection rates are now “evident,” Fernández stated.
While hospital intensive-care unit (ICU) capacities are at 100% in some areas as a result of the Omicron surge, there’s still spare ICU capacity in other areas, he said.
Unfortunately, Covid-related deaths have risen over the past week in Antioquia, Medellin, Cali, Valle del Cauca and Bogotá, he said.
The rise in Covid-related deaths “isn’t proportional as in past [Covid-case surges],” he said, as the Omicron variant appears to be less-severe than prior variants – about 40-to-70% less severe.
However, to stem the rising tide of Covid cases, the remaining unvaccinated Colombians should get vaccinated, while vulnerable populations – especially those over 50 years old — should get the reinforcement shot, he added.
As for children, the Sinovac vaccine appears to be the most effective, with the fewest numbers of side-effects, he added. This is an encouraging sign as more and more Colombian children are returning to in-person classes this year, rather than home-based internet learning.
In total, just 0.05% of vaccinated Colombians have reported adverse side effects from the Covid shots, he said. In contrast, unvaccinated Colombians remain five times more likely to suffer severe illness and death from Covid infections, he added.