Chile on Wednesday launched its mass vaccination campaign against COVID-19, inoculating people over 90 years old at over 1,400 vaccination centers across the country.
After 11 months of hard, painful and difficult times of pandemic, today we are initiating a mass vaccination process throughout our country in order to protect our compatriots from the threats posed by the coronavirus and this pandemic, Chilean President Sebastian Piñera said.
As the first doses were applied at a vaccination center in Futrono, a city in the southern region of Los Rios, Piñera described the campaign as a tremendous challenge.
The Chilean government aims to vaccinate 5 million people in the first quarter of this year and 15 million by mid-2021.
Vaccination is free and voluntary in Chie, he said. The campaign is being carried out with almost 4 million vaccines from Chinese firm Sinovac, which arrived aboard two flights last week, while more are to gradually arrive over the coming weeks.
According to the latest report, 140,412 people were inoculated in the first day. This means that Chile has so far immunized 209.501 patients since it started vaccinating on 24 December when it received the first batch of 154.000 PfizerBioNtech doses.
Chile has registered 736,645 cases and 18,576 deaths as of Wednesday, according to data from the Ministry of Health.