Health Minister Carla Vizzotti has confirmed that Argentina will offer a third dose of coronavirus vaccine to “the entire population,” with the government hoping to reach the elderly “before Autumn.”
Speaking to a local radio station about the government’s mass vaccination campaign, Vizzotti confirmed that “the entire population will receive this booster [the third dose] six months after the second dose."
Justifying the decision, the minister said that other nations who have applied a third dose of Covid-19 vaccine were seeing the benefits.
"In Israel, it is clear that people vaccinated with three doses have a much lower incidence of cases, hospitalisation and death than those vaccinated with two doses. We have to prepare for the coming Autumn with the entire population vaccinated with two doses and with the boosters they need," the official told El Destape Radio.
Argentina started offering a third dose last month to those aged over 70, healthcare workers and those with pre-existing health conditions that put them at greater risk from Covid-19. Vizzotti, who said that 700,000 had already been given their booster, confirmed in her interview Wednesday that the “entire population” would now be offered a third dose.
"There is clearly a need for a boost in immunity with a third dose, we saw that with the new variants. With all vaccines, impunity decreases over time and they may need a periodic booster, but we already have a stock of vaccines for that," she added.
Quizzed about those who had refused the offer to be vaccinated, the minister observed that "92 percent of people aged over 18 had been given a dose."
“There are less than 10 percent who have not been vaccinated and we are looking into why. We have 70 percent of adolescents with at least one dose and 50 percent of minors,” said Vizzotti, who revealed that provincial health ministers would meet next Friday to discuss the “next steps” for the handling of the pandemic.
According to official data as of Wednesday morning, more than 60 percent of the population have already received two doses of coronavirus vaccine, while 78.5 percent have received at least one shot.
Among those aged over 18, the percentage climbs to 91.6 percent for an initial dose, with 78.9 percent fully vaccinated.