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Chile has the best vaccination rates but new cases are spiking, here’s why

The country of Chile began vaccinating its population in December of last year. As a result, this country is regarded as one of the best in terms of vaccination rates. In fact, according to the latest data collated by Our World in Data, Chile ranks Third in vaccine doses administered per 100 people.

Data on COVID-19 doses administered per country

Once vaccines were reportedly developed, Chile, immediately took action to acquire the needed vaccines. The country immediately made deals with countries that manufactured the vaccines like the United States, China, and the United Kingdom. The fact that Chile also participated in phase 3 clinical trials gave them the upper hand in negotiating for doses.

As the doses of vaccines arrived in the country, the Chilean government relied on their age-old national immunization program that proved to be effective to rapidly deliver the vaccines to their residents. According to the Chile health ministry, the majority of the doses administered to its citizens is the vaccine called Coronavac the vaccine developed by the Chinese company Sinovac. Some were from Pfizer.

False sense of security

Despite the efforts to bringing the vaccines to its citizens, the country has seen a rise in the number of people getting infected with the SARS-Cov-2 virus. According to Chilean health officials, one of the contributing factors that led to their current situation is the premature easing of restrictions on travel, schools, and businesses.

To revive the COVID-stricken economy the government relaxed its restrictions which prompted the opening of casinos, gyms, churches, malls, and restaurants. Not to mention, the fact that Chile resumed face-to-face classes for schools last March 1.

The easing of restrictions was all rooted in the fact that it gave citizens a false sense of security since the majority of the country’s population already received the first dose of the vaccine.

Daily COVID-19 Cases

The first dose offers a low efficacy rate

According to the recent study done by the Health Ministry of Chile, the first application of the vaccine, in this case, Sinovac, does not offer full protection against the virus, in fact, it only provides 16% protection from symptomatic infection.

According to the same research, the rate of protection increases upon the application of the second dose, which is at 67% 14 days after the application of the second dose. The vaccine was also found to provide 85% effectiveness to prevent Hospital Admission, 89% effectiveness to prevent ICU admission, and 80% effectiveness to prevent death.

At the end of the study, the researchers provided this statement

No se deben descuidar las medidas de salud pública adicionales a la inmunización.

which translates to:

Public health measures in addition to immunization should not be neglected.

This means that it is still necessary for individuals to observe public health measures even after being vaccinated. The report also stated that hygiene and personal care, as well as mobility restrictions, must be observed.

Sources: Chile Ministry of Health (Minesterio de Salud, Gobierno de Chile)

Our World in Data

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