Arrival of Pfizer’s covid-19 vaccines in Colombia: this is how the first doses will be distributed – Health

The National Vaccination Plan against covid-19 will start on Saturday, February 20 with at least 50,000 vaccines from the pharmaceutical company Pfizer whose dispatch is already confirmed and would arrive between Wednesday and Thursday in the country. All this lot will be entirely for health workers from the first line of care and half will be distributed in the three territorial entities that have the highest proportion of this population.

Thus will begin this unprecedented health campaign that plans to immunize 35 million Colombians (70 percent of the population) this year, as the National Government has challenged.

And while the zero hour of vaccination is based on the certainty of that batch of 50,000 doses of Pfizer, could be more those that arrive this week, according to the expected by the Ministry of Health. In fact, the most recent official projection (midweek) indicated that 1.15 million should land before the end of February, although, as has been insisted, everything depends on the availability of the laboratories.

(Read also: Health worker deaths doubled at second peak).

In any case, EL TIEMPO learned about the official document of the Ministry of Health with which it confirmed to the territorial entities the mathematical formula for the distribution of the vaccines that arrive in the country, based on technical criteria, and the figures that will be distributed to each region thanks to that first batch. All this will remain in place this week in a resolution to be issued.

At the Unified Command Post on Friday, the Ministry explained to leaders and health secretaries across the country and to the heads of sector unions how those first 50,000 confirmed doses will be distributed. Said distribution formula –which will be applied for this first batch and for those that arrive– It was not done by the proportion of the general population of each region but by the participation of each specific group in each one of these zones compared to the national total.

To better explain it, the universe of human talent in health prioritized –for being first-line and supportive– and uploaded on the Mi Vacuna platform until last Friday It was 306,971, of which 149,385, that is, 48.6 percent, are located in three regions: Bogotá (77,231), Antioquia (40,335) and Valle del Cauca (31,819).

That same percentage (48.6 percent) of the total available doses will be sent to those places, so that Bogotá will receive 12,582 (25.16 percent) of those first 50,000; Antioquia, 6,570 (13.13 percent). And Valle, 5,184 (10.36 percent).

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Then they’re dosed, based on their number of front-line healthcare workers, Barranquilla (2,556, which is 5.1 percent of total vaccines), Santander (2,388), Nariño (1,776), Cundinamarca (1,770), Huila (1,494), Norte de Santander (1,356), Tolima (1,344), Córdoba (1,332), Cartagena (1,260), Boyacá (1,074) and Cesar (1,050).

And with less than a thousand doses in the initial dispatch, due to having fewer prioritized workers, are Caldas (990), Meta (960), Risaralda (912), Santa Marta (720), Sucre (696), Cauca (666), Atlántico (564) and Quindío (540). Further down are the remote regions like Amazonas, Guainía, Vichada and Vaupés, which will receive 54, 36, 24 and 12.

In concrete terms, Pfizer’s first 50,000 doses will immunize 16 percent of frontline healthcare workers against COVID-19 in each of the regions. It should be remembered that these doses will be for the same number of people in this population and that the schemes will be completed as new batches arrive.

In the same way, it is clarified that after the vaccination of this group is finished, it will start with people over 80 years of age, who complete the first of five stages.

(See: Drug proven to reduce deaths of seriously ill covid-19 patients).

Other challenges

This newspaper knew that until now 20,000 people have been trained and certified throughout the national territory to apply the vaccines, of the 70,000 that are expected to be available in this task. In addition, it was confirmed that there are already 373,450 diluents in warehouses in the free zone in Bogotá and yesterday, Saturday, a million syringes were expected in the country to complement the national inventory and cover February’s needs.

Additionally, it was achieved that Antioquia, Arauca, Barranquilla, Bogotá, Bolívar, Boyacá, Caquetá, Cundinamarca, Huila, Magdalena, Meta, Nariño, Quindío, Risaralda, Santander, Tolima and Valle del Cauca already had freezers installed, necessary to store vaccines from Pfizer. And this week another 11 ultraconlegants will be sent to other regions and thus guarantee coverage of this technology in all regions.

It is clear that the planning and procurement of inputs has been in the hands of the Government, but it is also true that execution is now in the hands of governors, mayors, EPS, hospitals and the willingness of the community to face the process.

(We recommend: Disinfect shoes and other protocols that do not work against covid-19).

In this sense, Julio Castellanos, director of the San Ignacio Hospital, where one of the main vaccination posts in Bogotá has already been built, indicates that the first doses that arrive will be a resource of high social value, so it must be ensured that extreme so as not to miss any doses and apply as soon as possible.



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