Colombia’s Covid-19 vaccination drive kicks off in major cities

Bogota, Feb 19 (IANS) Mass vaccination against Covid-19 kicked off on Thursday in Colombia’s capital Bogota, the Colombian city with the most infections and deaths since the start of the pandemic in the South American country, said health authorities.

The vaccination drive began simultaneously at hospitals in Bogota and other major cities, with the immunization of healthcare workers on the frontlines of the pandemic, the Xinhua news reported.

Colombian Minister of Health and Social Protection, Fernando Ruiz, who was on hand for the vaccination process at Kennedy Hospital, stressed the importance of the first vaccine being applied at a public hospital.

Ruiz also thanked the mayor of Bogota, Claudia Lopez, for helping to facilitate the National Vaccination Plan, which aims to vaccinate more than 35 million Colombians in 2021.

“Mayor, thank you for joining this initiative to vaccinate 35.2 million Colombians … we are going to protect our population of healthcare workers and our population over 80 years of age,” Ruiz said of the start of the campaign.

Colombia reported 2,207,701 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 58,134 deaths from the disease as of Wednesday, according to the Ministry of Health.

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