Chile will start vaccinating COVID-19 basic health workers

SANTIAGO, Dec. 24 (Xinhua) – Chile began vaccinating its population against the new coronavirus on Thursday, following the arrival of the first 10,000 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech.

Chilean President Sebastian Pinera and health ministry officials were available to vaccinate the first five health workers from the intensive care units in the capital Santiago, who were vaccinated at the city’s Metropolitan Hospital.

Zulema Riquelme, a 46-year-old nurse, was the first to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, which was then administered to a doctor, nurse, kinesiologist and assistant, all from different hospitals.

Riquelme said the pandemic had entailed “difficult, very tiring months” during which she could not see the family.

She called on “everyone to get vaccinated and thus help us reduce our jobs”.

Health Minister Enrique Paris said vaccination would continue on Friday in various hospitals before vaccines are transferred to regions currently hardest hit by the health crisis, including southern Biobio, La Araucania and Magallanes.

The Chilean Ministry of Health on Thursday reported 2,395 new cases of infection and 75 deaths from COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, for a total of 593,310 cases and 16,303 deaths.