Uruguay's Secretary to the Presidency Álvaro Delgado is to meet with the regional manager of the Pfizer laboratory to finalize the details for the purchase of COVID-19 vaccines with which the administration of President Luis Lacalle Pou hopes to lure more foreign tourists into the country for the Summer season.
One of the details to be worked out is how many doses are needed. Uruguayan authorities believe the magic number is 1 million doses for the first quarter of 2022.
The Uruguayan Government will offer a third dose of COVID-19 vaccine to foreigners who arrive in the country after November 1, when the borders will fully reopen. Tourism Minister Tabaré Viera, met with Lacalle Pou on Oct. 14., after which he announced he had been given the green light to make the arrangements for the immunization of foreigners.
It is good news in terms of the safety of our fellow citizens and turn one more service that is offered to tourists, said the minister.
Uruguayan authorities are nevertheless concerned that too many efforts trying to secure doses for visiting foreigners might result in a shortage of vaccines for nationals.
When agreeing to the initiative, Lacalle reportedly insisted on the need to guarantee that no Uruguayan is left unattended and that everything is carried out from an egalitarian perspective.
Ministry of Public Health (MSP) sources have pointed out there will be a coexistence between Uruguayans and foreigners within the vaccination plan and, even though Uruguayans will be prioritized.
Only third doses will become available for tourists since being fully vaccinated (two doses) is a requirement to enter the country.
At any rate, Uruguayan authorities have pointed out the local supply of vaccines was to be guaranteed and that they were not running out of doses for when foreigners arrive, starting Nov. 1. The MSP will also keep an eye on the evolution of the number of Uruguayan registered and the purchases made by the Presidency to determine the real possibilities to inoculate foreigners.
Around 72% of Uruguayans are said to have taken both doses of COVID-19 vaccine, while 31% have been already given the booster, mainly people who were first injected with Coronavac. Those vaccinated with Pfizer are not eligible for the supplementary shot until six months after the second vaccine, according to the National Vaccination Advisory Commission.