Chile lined up shots early and faced little antivaccine sentiment
Chile is advancing a vaccination campaign against Covid-19 that is outpacing not only its Latin American neighbors but much of the world, putting the South American nation on course to become the first developing country to achieve herd immunity.
More than 22% of Chile’s 19 million people have already received at least one dose, a feat topped only by Israel, United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom, according to Our World in Data, an Oxford University project tracking the global vaccine rollout.
On most days over the past month, 1.1% of Chile’s population—more than 200,000 people daily—have been vaccinated. In the past week, Chile has administered 1.06 doses per 100 inhabitants, on par with Israel, and more than any other country. The government expects to cover 80% of its people by June.
Rodrigo Yáñez, who led the government’s negotiations with pharmaceutical companies, attributes the success to a strategy of casting a wide net and engaging early in negotiations that allowed Chile to seal deals with Pfizer Inc. of the U.S., Sinovac Biotech Ltd. of China, and AstraZeneca PLC of the U.K. The government also funded and hosted Phase 3 clinical trials with several pharmaceutical companies, helping make the vaccines more readily available.
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