Ecuadorian president estimates reaching herd immunity against COVID-19 in March
QUITO, Jan. 4 (Xinhua) -- Ecuadorian President Guillermo Lasso estimated Tuesday that the country would achieve herd immunity against COVID-19 in March after it applies the vaccine booster dose to over 13.4 million people, or 85 percent of the target population.
"At this rate, I calculate that by mid-February, 85 percent will have received two doses," he said in an interview with local media, "by around March, we will reach the desired 85 percent with the booster dose."
Lasso said the target population in the country is 16.1 million people aged five years old and up, with more than 85.5 percent having received one dose so far.
Some 12.6 million people have received two doses, equivalent to 79 percent of the target population, while 7 percent have gotten their booster shot.
"There is still a very big job ahead, as the number of people who require the booster shot is close to 12 million Ecuadorians," the president said, adding that Ecuador has allocated about additional 60 million U.S. dollars to buy 5.5 million vaccine doses to complete the booster application.
The South American country has an inventory of about 5 million vaccines, with over 3.7 million vaccines expected to arrive by Jan. 31, Lasso said.
In Ecuador, vaccination against COVID-19 is mandatory in order to better contain the pandemic as well as to protect people against COVID-19 and its variants. Enditem