Itzel de Hewitt, national coordinator of the Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI), explained how the vaccines against COVID-19 will be applied in Panama and the percentage of the population that could be covered.
She indicated that in the first phase, Panama will acquire 450 thousand doses of vaccines with which it is estimated to reach an estimated population of 225 thousand citizens, however, the arrival of the doses to the country depends on the availability of the company.
Until now we do not know how much they are going to deliver, the specific amount, what we ask is one thing and their response capacity is another thing. The PAHO Revolving Fund told us that they had structured 20%, to Panama They are going to give them 13%, but they were clear from the beginning that it does not mean that that 13% will reach them at once, it can reach them 5%, that is, according to the availability of the companies , we work in the first phase based on 450 thousand doses for 225 thousand people, she explained.
Hewitt added that the vaccination will begin with health personnel from public and private facilities, and essential groups such as Police, Sinaproc, employees of the Tocumen International Airport, the Panama Canal, as well as older adults, bedridden and confined in nursing homes and homes. .
It will be applied in each of the health regions, as established by each coordinator of the Vaccine
and Epidemiology Program.
In this first stage we are going to work with the captive population, we do not have to give an appointment to health personnel because we are going to apply the vaccine
to all of them within the health facility, as well as to essential groups, it will be a captive population , we mobilize human resources with equipment and vaccines and we have programmed according to the list of human resource offices how many people per day in these areas we could access; but when we are going to speak by appointment, a line will be enabled on the which people are going to call and they will be given an appointment according to their origin, that is, if you live in Juan Díaz, you will be given an appointment either at the Policentro or at the Juan Díaz Polyclinic, and it will try to locate it according to the health facility closest to its origin and the installed capacity of each health facility, she stated.
On the other hand, he reiterated that Panama will acquire four different vaccines, the first to arrive in the country is that of Pfizer
, there are also AstraZeneca
and Johnson & Johnson, the latter will be used in areas of difficult access, taking into account that it is single app.
Hewitt added that the plan is to vaccinate approximately 80% of the population in 2021, excluding pregnant women, immunosuppressed groups and children under 16 years of age.