The Government of Ecuador has decided to make vaccination against COVID-19 mandatory, except for people with a medical condition that renders the shot counterproductive, it was announced Thursday.
The authorities claim to have reached this decision after the arrival into the country of the Omicron variant of coronavirus, which is mild and has caused a very small number of deaths worldwide. Ecuador is the seventh Latin American country with the most deaths due to the coronavirus pandemic
In Ecuador, vaccination against Covid-19 is mandatory, the Ministry of Health said in a statement. The Ministry also argued that the decision to declare vaccination compulsory was supported by the Constitution, which says health is a right that the State must guarantee.
The Organic Health Law indicates that the Executive has the power to declare the mandatory nature of immunizations against certain diseases, under the terms and conditions that the national and local epidemiological reality requires, the statement went on.
About 69% percent of Ecuador's 17.7 million inhabitants have received a complete two-dose vaccination schedule, while 900,000 people have taken a booster dose. Vaccination starts at the age of 5.
Ecuador had ordered a week ago a vaccination card would be required to enter public events, restaurants, shopping mall, cinemas and theaters. Indoor spaces were ordered to cut down their capacity in half.
In Ecuador, the mandatory vaccination against covid-19 is declared. This decision was made due to the current epidemiological status, that is, the increase in infected and the circulation of new variants of 'concern', such as omicron, the official statement reads.
It is due to the international trend that shows the rapidity of contagion and the pressure on health services that have a high demand for hospitalization, it went on.
Ecuador is the first country in Latin America to make vaccination compulsory. The authorities maintain there are enough vaccines at this time for the entire population.
Article 83.7 of the Constitution mentions the duty of Ecuadorians to promote the common good and put the general interest before the particular interest.
The Ecuadorian authorities said they were following the examples of European countries such as Germany, Austria and Greece, which will make vaccination mandatory as of 2022.
Ecuador reported 819 new positives for COVID-19 Wednesday and added a total of 539,037 cases of the disease during the pandemic, while deaths rose to 33,634, with 23,815 confirmed cases plus 9,819 probable ones.
According to the Health Ministry, 21 cases of the Omicron variant have been detected in the country.