The members of the Association of Mayors they met yesterday with staff from Health Department and the National Guard to coordinate the next phase of vaccination against COVID-19, which is expected to start in the next few weeks and which covers people over 65, professionals in the field of education and first responders.
This is the first major phase in which some 760,000 people will be able to participate, according to the general assistant of the National Guard, José Juan Reyes, so they seek the assistance of the municipalities to facilitate coordination and assign internal priorities in each city council.
“We have requested that they identify first responders, municipal police, among others, to establish an appointment system once phase 1B begins,” explained Reyes, in a brief meeting with the press when leaving the Convention Center de Villalba, where the activity was carried out.
Advance phase 1A
Phase 1A consisted of inoculation by healthcare professionals and the vaccine is currently administered to staff and older adults in long-term care centers. As of yesterday, 39 of these centers had been treated, said Iris Cardona, undersecretary of the Department of Health.
Cardona explained that, when they get to inoculate about 70% of the people considered in the first phase, they will go on to serve the educational personnel, which is estimated at about 200,000 people; adults over 65, who number about 400,000; and the first responders, who are like 160,000 individuals.
“We move as the plan was conceptualized. We are completing phase 1A. We have already exceeded 60% and we understand that in the next few weeks we will reach that magic number of 70% of health workers and we can move to phase 1B, ”he said.
Reyes said, for his part, that so far they have received 160,000 doses of the vaccines made by the Moderna and Pfizer companies. Of these, 126,000 have been distributed and 71,000 have been administered. Some 18,000 have received the second dose of these vaccines, explained the military. Puerto Rico receives between 30,000 and 40,000 doses of vaccines weekly.
Of the 71,000 people who have received the vaccine, adverse reactions have only been recorded in 11 cases. None of these situations have been serious, said the health official.
Luis Javier Hernández, executive of Villalba and president of the Association of Mayors, explained that, in addition to the identification of the personnel of first need in the municipalities, they will be providing information on the elderly and bedridden people in their towns so that they can be vaccinated with priority. The Association groups together the mayors affiliated with the Popular Democratic Party.
He also argued that now that vaccination is entering a phase that covers a greater number of people, many municipalities will cooperate by providing their facilities so that they can serve as centers for inoculations.