The Argentine government of President Alberto Fernández is said to be embarking on a witch-hunt search for the unvaccinated, according to the Buenos Aires daily La Nación.
The newspaper reported that the Government has instructed provincial administrations to launch a “house by house” canvassing for those who did not register to be vaccinated.
Some figures do not add up. “So far 82.6% of those over 60 years of age have been vaccinated with one dose in the country. The missing percentage is due, not so much to a lack of dose or a delay in applications, but to people who did not sign up for inoculation,” La Nación reported.
And the Fernández's administration has reportedly ordered that those who did not sign up to receive their dose, either due to distrust in the vaccine or due to ignorance of the registration system, were sought.
This order – according to La Nación – was issued during the last meeting of the Federal Health Council (Cofesa), which encompasses national and provincial health authorities.
The Government demanded that the districts raise awareness and look for the unvaccinated with the registration process in hand.
According to the newspaper, the order was put on the table in recent days, after the Casa Rosada overcame supply problems and guaranteed the smooth arrival of vaccines.
The Buenos Aires daily also reported that 78% of those over 80 have received one dose when that group - one of the first to access vaccines - should already have been fully immunized. Among those aged 70 to 79, 86.6% have had the first shot. And of those aged between 60 and 69, 83.3% were given at least one shot. But in the case of the second dose, the numbers drop considerably, down to 24%.
Buenos Aires Province Governor Axel Kicillof reportedly briefed local mayors in this regard, according to La Nación. In the provincial capital of La Plata alone there were some 200,000 people over 60 without registering, who must be searched for.
“Axel has been asking this to the mayors for a month. With the arrival of vaccines that we are seeing, those registered are covered and we must try to add those who for some reason did not sign up,” a source close to Kiciloff was quoted by La Nación as saying.
Provincial Health Minister Daniel Gollan is said to have instructed mayors once again in this regard, but some took no action until vaccines were effective in their hands, La Nación said. Nevertheless, some districts just outside the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires (CABA) another hand, are enacting house-by-house raids as of this week.
The search squads will reportedly carry out a “census-type” sweep from house to house looking for those “interested” in getting the second shot, but the second round of raiding is said to be featuring health care professionals to persuade those who distrust the vaccine, La Nación said.
Kicillof has already allowed free vaccination for those over 70, meaning they can approach any health centre without an appointment to receive their doses.