Uruguay intends to vaccinate 200 homeless in Montevideo

Montevideo, May 13 (EFE).- Uruguayan health authorities could vaccinate some 200 homeless people living on the streets of Montevideo on Thursday, according to estimates by the Public Health and Social Development Ministries (MSP and Mides, respectively), which have organized a Covid-19 inoculation day for that group.

As Fernanda Auersperg, the national director Social Protection for Mides, told EFE, three mobile teams will move through the streets of the Uruguayan capital to transport anyone who wants to be vaccinated to centers set up at La Trama and the Casa de las Ciudadanas, two day centers operated by the Montevideo city government.

Auersperg confirmed that the homeless people will receive the Pfizer vaccine since “because it’s a population living out in the elements, it was defined as a priority group, and thus just the first dose provides a high level of immunity” and, if the people cannot be located again for their second doses, they would already have “a rather high percentage of coverage.”

Meanwhile, Tamara Paseyro, the director of Social Policies for the IMM, noted the commitment made by the city government to “locate these people, who frequent the same sites and areas,” with an eye toward ensuring that they receive the second dose on June 10.

“This population that comes to the day centers comes frequently. We’re working with this population and that’s going to continue,” she said.

Shortly after the vaccination process began, Social Development Minister Martin Lema, who on May 3 replaced the prior head of that department, Pablo Bartol, visited the facilities and told reporters that his office will “evaluate whether another day like this is needed” depending on the demand.

Lema emphasized the coordination of the project among the MSP, Mides and the IMM, as well as the National Emergencies System (Sinae).

Uruguay has already vaccinated virtually all people in Mides shelters who are deemed to be vulnerable, but on this occasion authorities are emphasizing inoculating people who live on the streets, the Mides director said.

On Wednesday, the South American country exceeded the 25 percent level in terms of people who have received both doses of the two-dose vaccine series.

According to the CoronavirusUY app, which was developed by the MSP, as of 10:25 am on Thursday Uruguay had administered 2,144,143 doses, meaning that just under 36 percent of the population had received at least one dose of the Sinovac, Pfizer or AstraZeneca vaccines while just over 25 percent have been fully vaccinated.


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