Panama vaccinating disabled people against Covid-19

Panama City, Feb 26 (efe-epa).- Panama on Friday began vaccinating people aged 16-plus with disabilities after earlier this week receiving its third shipment of 77,220 doses of the Pfizer anti-Covid vaccine.

“They attended to me very well and when they injected me I felt some heat and then my arm fell asleep. All of us should get vaccinated,” Arlimary Guerra, 21, told EFE after receiving her shot at the Torrijos Carter Sports Complex in San Miguelito, on the outskirts of Panama City.

At that center the first doses of the vaccine were administered to 249 people with disabilities, who are considered to be a population vulnerable to the coronavirus and who arrived to get their shots with their caretakers, the Health Ministry (Minsa) reported.

Disabled people must receive certification to be able to get the vaccine although even those without the appropriate certification will be vaccinated as a priority group if additional doses of the vaccines arrive, authorities say.

Panama’s immunization campaign was launched at the end of January when the country received its first allotment of Pfizer vaccine, and the plan is to immunize about three million of the country’s 4.2 million residents in four phases.

Last Wednesday, Panama received 77,220 doses of the Pfizer drug, part of a total of 157,920 doses that have been received in three deliveries since January.

With this new batch of the vaccine, Panamanian health authorities are continuing to vaccinate people over age 60 in nursing homes and hospitals and are giving the second dose of the two-dose series to frontline healthcare personnel and essential workers, all of whom are included in Phase One of the national immunization campaign.

The campaign is still in its first phase everywhere, although authorities have already announced that people ages 16-59 with chronic illnesses will be vaccinated in the second phase, which is to begin next week.

So far, a total of 90,067 doses of the drug have been administered, according to the “online vaccination-meter” established by the National Governmental Innovation Authority (AIG).

Since the pandemic hit Panama almost a year ago through last Thursday, 5,810 people had died from Covid-19 in the Central American country and 339,383 confirmed cases had been registered.

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