July 28, 2021 | Knowledge & Science

Chile’s latest figures reveal its success in the fight against the pandemic

Chile’s latest figures reveal its success in the fight against the pandemic | Marca Chile

Chile has one of the most successful and highly regarded COVID-19 vaccination campaigns in the world. Currently, 86.3% of the target population has received the first dose of the vaccine and 79.2% has been fully vaccinated. According to a recent study published by international consulting firm Ipsos, Chile is “the country that has best managed the pandemic and the vaccination process in Latin America.” Supporting data of Chile’s successful fight against the pandemic can be found below.

In the period since Chile’s mass vaccination process began on February 3, 2021 until now, 86.3% of the target population has received a first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine (13,118,877 people) and 79.2% has completed their full course of vaccinations (12,038,580 people). The latter group can therefore access the Mobility Pass, which provides greater freedoms to the holder.

More than 24 million vaccine doses have been administered throughout Chile in a process that is both voluntary and free of charge, including the people living on its most remote islands and Antarctic territory. On Wednesday, June 23, Chile achieved the goal of administering a first dose to 80% of the target population, which places it among the countries with the highest vaccination rates in the world.

Chile is one of few countries in the world that is already vaccinating minors, having first prioritized older adults and the most vulnerable groups and now young people over the age of 14 can get vaccinated.

In May 2020, the country began working on securing safe and effective vaccines in adequate quantities for the Chilean population. The keys to Chiles successful mass vaccination plan have been: early negotiation with different laboratories; Chile’s readiness to carry out clinical trials in order to secure doses; a robust nationwide health network; coordination between the Health Ministry and the municipalities; and its past experience with mass vaccination campaigns.

  • Reduction in new cases

On Tuesday, July 20, the Health Ministry reported the lowest number of new contagions since November of last year. The 753 new cases registered today, Tuesday, July 27, are part of a downward trend that has been observed over the past 14 days, with 40% fewer new cases.

Vaccinations and people’s efforts in observing self-care measures have contributed to this substantial reduction in new cases.

  • Reduction in positive testing.

The number of positive cases being identified by PCR tests continues to fall. Chile’s rate of positive PCR cases is below 3% and dropped to 2.17% nationwide today, Tuesday, July 27.

The country succeeded in establishing a network of laboratories for analyzing PCR tests, which has managed to analyze more than 75,000 tests per day.

  • Reduction in ICU patients

Since December 2020, Chile has seen an improvement in its level of ICU bed occupation. This is thanks to its successful public-private integration of the Healthcare Network, which made it possible to go from 1,229 ventilated beds in March 2020 to 4,507 in June of this year. This is an increase of 266% throughout the Integrated Network. ICU bed occupation is 87% nationwide, which means that there are currently 507 beds available for patients (regardless of their region of residence).

As of today, an average of 81 people per day were being admitted to an ICU. This is 63 fewer than during the first wave and 156 fewer than during the second wave.

  • Increase in traceability and close contact detection

The traceability of close contacts has increased to 3.2 nationwide. Coquimbo (5.1), Antofagasta (4.3), Biobío and La Araucanía (4.0) presented the best figures. This places Chile ahead of countries like New Zealand (2.6) and England (1.9). Germany does not publicly release information concerning this indicator.

  • Mass vaccine arrival

The Public Health Institute (ISP) approved the Russian Sputnik V vaccine (for those over 18 years of age) on Wednesday, July 21. It will be added to Chile’s current vaccine portfolio: Pfizer-BioNTech, Sinovac, AstraZeneca, CanSino and Janssen. Chile now has six approved vaccines to combat COVID-19.

On Thursday, July 22, 207,090 new doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine were received. With this shipment, the number of COVID-19 vaccines that have arrived in Chile has passed 27,270,000.

The government has agreements and contracts with different laboratories to ensure that vaccines continue to arrive in Chile. They include: Pfizer-BioNTech, Sinovac, AstraZeneca, CanSino (Saval), Janssen (Johnson & Johnson), alongside the Russian vaccine recently approved by the Institute of Public Health, Sputnik V. This vaccine pool from different pharmaceutical companies has secured more than 35 million doses for Chile.

Total number of COVID- 19 vaccines received by Chile:
Laboratory Quantity
Pfizer-BioNTech 6,309,030
AstraZeneca (*) 1,713,600
Sinovac 18,671,476
CanSino 575,908
Total as of 07/22/21 27,270,014

 

(*) 489,600 via Covax and 1,224,000 by direct purchase from AstraZeneca.

Upcoming vaccine arrivals in Chile:

Pfizer:

  • Wednesday 28 July: 299,000
  • Week beginning 2 August: 281,000
  • Week beginning 9 August: 201,000
  • Week beginning 16 August: 217,000

Sinovac

  • 1 million doses will arrive in the coming days

AstraZeneca:

  • Week beginning 28 July: 204,000

 

  • Local vaccine production

Chile could begin local vaccine production, thanks to interest from the Chinese pharmaceutical company Sinovac Biotech in setting up a production plant in the country. This would mean that Chinese scientists would be working on vaccine development alongside Chilean researchers.

  • Plan Paso a paso, nos cuidamos (We care for each other step-by-step plan)

In July 2021, the Chilean government announced the ‘Plan Paso a Paso, nos cuidamos’ (we care for each other step-by-step plan), as part of a gradual deconfinement strategy aimed at addressing the pandemic according to the specific health situation and circumstances in each of Chile’s different areas. This plan has been successful in containing the spread of infection and moving slowly and carefully forward, following the recommendations of the scientific community, the WHO, a COVID-19 Social Committee and an Advisory Board.

The plan has been adjusted over the last few days to take account of the advanced stage of the vaccination process and make a cross-sector assessment, with the purpose of better weighing and balancing the country’s different needs and objectives.

In the educational sphere, schools and kindergartens returned from their winter vacations yesterday, Monday, July 26. In accordance with the latest changes to the Plan Paso a Paso, educational institutions will be the first to open and the last to close, and they are even able to function under quarantine. It is hoped that more than 70% of Chiles educational institutions will open in the next two weeks.

  • Plan Fronteras Protegidas (Protected borders plan)

The Plan Fronteras Protegidas (protected borders plan) came into effect yesterday. It allows people who have a Mobility Pass to leave Chile (with a few exceptions). It also establishes the requirements for travelers entering the country, including the obligation to complete a strict and compulsory ten-day isolation.

The health measures for people entering the country will be strengthened by the National Unit for Border Control and Traveler Surveillance.

Who can leave Chile?

  1. Chileans and foreign residents in Chile, with:
  • Mobility Pass enabled. This does not include minors without a mobility pass. (Only through the Arturo Merino Benítez Airport in Santiago).
  • Or with special permission to leave the country, obtained and approved via the Comisaría virtual (police force’s online website). Grounds for obtaining this permission: Humanitarian grounds, essential health reasons, permanently leaving the country, going to live abroad.
  1. Non-resident foreigners in Chile who leave the country with a passport from their country of origin.

Who can enter Chile?

  1. Chileans and foreign residents in Chile
  2. Foreigners who are not resident in Chile (only exceptions).

 

Sources:

Chilean Health Ministry

Chilean Education Ministry

Health Ministry Daily Report

Health Ministry TTA Report

Health Information and Statistics Department (DEIS)

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