Peruvian health authorities began vaccinating children under five years of age Sunday against COVID-19 with pediatric doses available in Lima and Callao.
These drugs are for children from six months to four years and eleven months of age, according to the Health Ministry (Minsa).
The importance of vaccinating this age group is because although it is true that there are no alarming figures that they could be infected or have become seriously ill, statistically speaking there are children who have been in intensive care units, Vaccination Coordinator José Ipanaqué said.
He also argued that children should be vaccinated because they spread the disease in their homes, which could become dangerous in families with a vulnerable member.
Ipanaqué also pointed out that 83.78 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine had been applied, with 29.86 million (91.1%) first doses, 28.21 million (86.1%) second doses, and 20.67 million (72.4%) third doses, according to the Repositorio Único Nacional de Información en Salud (Reunis).
Peru has accumulated 4,140,874 confirmed cases and 216,473 COVID-19 deaths in a country with one of the highest mortality rates globally.
Authorities have also issued an epidemiological alert after an increase in cases of dengue. A Minsa statement showed that 58,117 cases and 75 deaths had been reported, mostly in Piura, Loreto, San Martin, Junin, Cajamarca, Ucayali, Cusco, Amazonas, Huanuco, and Madre de Dios.
Of the total number of cases reported, 50,870 (87.53%) correspond to dengue without warning signs, 7,054 (12.14%) to dengue with warning signs, and 193 (0.33%) to severe dengue, while the national case fatality rate stands at 0.13%.
Minsa also explained that the mosquito spreading this disease, the Aedes aegypti can be found in 22 regions, 94 provinces, and 528 districts of the country.
In addition, dengue has presented a seasonal behavior that coincides with the rainy season in the Amazon regions and with the summer season on the coast of the country, a Minsa statement read.
With the new epidemiological alert, the second issued so far this year, Minsa seeks to strengthen the epidemiological surveillance system and the adoption of preparedness and response measures to protect the health of the population in vulnerable areas. The increase in dengue cases in 2022 has been higher when compared to the same period of the previous year, as 30,873 cases and 28 deaths had been reported by the same date in 2021.