Uruguay plans to begin a mass vaccination plan against COVID-19 in April once the vaccine arrives in March.
The Uruguayan government has reached an agreement with Pfizer-BioNTech and Sinovac and hopes to receive 400,000 COVID-19 vaccines by March.
As one of the smaller countries in the world Uruguay has also reserved 1,500,000 doses with the Covax group. Uruguay as a nation of under four million has limited international buying power. Coordinated by the World Health Organisation, Covax is an international scheme to ensure vaccines are shared fairly among all nations, and not stockpiled by the richest.
Meanwhile the government has negotiated the estimated 200,000 doses each from Pfizer-BioNTech and Sinovac to get the ball rolling.
The Covid-19 vaccination rollout plan in Uruguay
The aim is to vaccinate 600,000 people per month starting in April. However, the government admits that they may not reach these numbers as the vaccination will not be obligatory (the WHO has advised the COVID-19 vaccination be voluntary). There is not an exact date for vaccinations to begin yet, but Guru’Guay will update this page once we have that news.
Who will be prioritised
First groups to receive the vaccination will be
- health providers,
- people working in the education sector including teachers and other staff, and
- residents and staff at residential care homes.
Once these people have been covered, according to the official announcement on January 23, the remaining priority groups are
- defence forces (editor’s note: presumably because of their policing the borders with hard-hit Brazil and Argentina),
- the police and fire fighters,
- people in jail (editor’s note: vulnerable to overcrowding) and
- the over 75s.
The experts who have created the vaccination plan will decide the order based on scientific evidence.
UPDATE: The first vaccines arrived February 25.
Did you find this interesting? Learn more about Uruguay and health:
- Freedom, political tradition and healthcare in Uruguay: The case of marijuana legalisation
- Uruguay’s response to public health crisis: The case of Zika
- Pure air and the 2006 smoking ban in Uruguay
- Uruguay’s advance medical professionals: The creation of the mammogram and birthcontrol pill
- Healthcare in Uruguay
- Vaccine requirements in Uruguay for residency
Picture: Marco Verch
While the borders remain closed to non-citizens and residents, there is a legal way to get in to Uruguay. Studying Spanish. And it can take just 5-7 days.
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Borders are still closed–with exceptions–to inbound travel as Uruguay continues to work to keep coronavirus numbers in check.