42% of the doses planned for children and adolescents still need to be applied

In Argentina there are about 6,480,000 boys from 3 to 11 years old and 4,320,000 adolescents from 12 to 17. A total of 10,800,000 children under 18 years of age (not counting the sub 3), who should receive a total of 21.6 million doses so that everyone has their complete vaccination schedules. But it is still a long way from achieving it.

So far they have been applied 6.7 million doses to boys and 5.9 million to adolescents. A total of 12.6 million doses. In the first case, it is necessary to apply 6,260,000 doses and in the second, 2,740,000. That is, they still need to be administered 9 million vaccines. So far, slightly more than half of the planned doses have been applied: the 58.3 percent.

Vaccination of children under 18 years of age started on july 28, when the first vaccines were given to adolescents with comorbidities. Then it was the turn of all the adolescents, without distinction, and the October 12 ° -after the controversy over the authorization of the pediatric Sinopharm vaccine- inoculation of boys from 3 to 11 years began.

This tuesday is fulfilled 5 months since the beginning of the vaccination of minors and there is still a long way to go. That is, it is necessary to apply 42 percent Sinopharm and Pfizer doses that were planned for these age groups. Those 9 million unadministered vaccines explain a large part of the total stock distributed in the provinces, which today is 19 million doses.

According to officials from different districts consulted by Clarion, in this delay in the vaccination campaign for minors, two factors. On the one hand, the difficulty of being able to complete the vaccination schedules for all adolescents: they have a lower perception of risk What does the Covid mean and many are unconcerned.

Adolescents with their vaccination certificate from the Province of Buenos Aires.

In the case of the child population, meanwhile, they attribute the delay to the potential mistrust that it may have generated in a part of the families the shape in which the Government decided to start applying the Sinopharm vaccine, with a controversy that included the Argentine Society of Pediatrics when in the first instance he demanded to see the efficacy results not published.

Added to this was the controversy over the fact that China – the vaccine producing country – was not a valid background in support of the local decision -as Minister Carla Vizzotti- had argued- because the Japanese began to use it on boys after Argentina.

The result, you can see now in the temporary balance, was a lower confidence in the announcement. It is evident in the number of doses applied in children under 11 years of age so far: of the 12,960,000 planned doses, only were administered 48 percent. In the case of adolescents, of the 8,640,000 planned doses, the 68 percent.

According to the data provided by the Public Vaccination Monitor, it is not possible to know how many of those doses still not applied correspond to minors under 18 years of age who did not receive even the first dose and how many correspond to second doses pending, that is, those who have their vaccination schedules started but incomplete.

It should be remembered that in the case of minors they were summoned for the second application to the 28 days from the first. In October, Minister Vizzotti was optimistic about the possibility that before the end of the year all those under 18 years of age were vaccinated with two doses. However, at this point in December that goal already seems impossible.

Minister Vizzotti during the last meeting of the Federal Health Council.

Minister Vizzotti during the last meeting of the Federal Health Council.

The objective of the Government was to vaccinate the children not so much because of the risk that an eventual contagion of Covid means for them, but because of the role they play as potential contagion of vulnerable people. Aspect that from the landing of the Omicron variant -3.5 times more transmissible than Delta- could multiply.

Argentina is one of the countries in the world that higher percentage of first doses applied, with a coverage of 84 percent of the population. Several European countries with pockets of anti-vaccine sectors envy this figure. However, the Government may have partly squandered trust that Argentines have in general in vaccines – and the pandemic was no exception – with the pediatric episode of Sinopharm.

Regarding second doses, national coverage currently reaches the 71 percent of the population, with a difference of 5,558,720 people who have applied the first dose but not the second.

Lagging behind for the moment is the index of the third doses -additional or booster-, since only 4,560,011 vaccines were applied, which represents the 10 percent of the country’s inhabitants. The official decision communicated this Sunday shorten the interval to 4 months will speed up that chapter.

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