Nicaragua accelerated vaccination against covid-19, but continues to hide figures and details

Nicaragua accelerated vaccination against covid-19, but continues to hide figures and details

In three and a half months, Nicaragua went from being in the queue for vaccination against covid-19 to being the fourth country in Central America with the highest percentage of the population vaccinated with two doses against SAR-CoV2 and the first nation in this region with more people immunized with one dose, according to official figures collected by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).

The latest update on vaccination in the Americas published on February 2, 2022, reveals that the percentage of vaccinated in Nicaragua with two doses is 53.74%, while that of one exceeds 78%. What’s more, this last figure rose this Monday to 84%, according to statements by the vice president and state spokesperson, Rosario Murillo to official propaganda media.

The spokeswoman assures that 70% of children from two to 11 years old and 81.33% of adolescents have already been vaccinated. However, she does not give details of how many doses they have applied per scheme, since the Soberana 02 and Abdalá vaccines intended for this group require three doses.

Likewise, he said that 82% of the population between 18 and 29 years of age have already been vaccinated and 88% of those over 30 years of age. And 90% of pregnant, recently delivered and lactating women have already been vaccinated.

Since the end of 2021, the Minsa has installed vaccination posts against covid-19 in markets, health posts, borders and airports, in addition to house-to-house vaccination days in an attempt to achieve a higher level of community protection. However, along with these initiatives, the promotion of agglomerations that facilitate the appearance of variants such as ómicron, which already circulates in the country, as confirmed by PAHO, continues.

Donations helped improve vaccination

The exponential increase in people vaccinated in Nicaragua occurs after the country will be next to Haiti in the vaccination queue for the entire continent during the first 10 months of 2021, due to the shortage of vaccines.

However, with the arrival of donations and direct purchases of biologicals, the country obtained 15.4 million from eight types of vaccines: AstraZeneca – Covishield, Sputnik V and Light, Sinopharm, Soberana 02, Abdalá, Pfizer, Janssen.

Compared to other countries in the region, Nicaragua is the nation that has made the most progress in the last quarter, going from 1,674,896 doses applied as of November 5 to accumulate 8,881,477, as of February 2, 2022, which represents a percentage increase of 430% that no other country has had.

The data indicates that Costa Rica has already managed to vaccinate 71% of its population with a complete schedule and 79% with one dose. Panama has a total immunization percentage of 65.33%, followed by El Salvador with 64.3%. Then comes Nicaragua with 53.7% and Belize with 50.9%.

Meanwhile, Honduras and Guatemala are below 50% of the population fully vaccinated. The first is located with 43.4% and the second with just 29% of its population. However, these are the countries in the region with the largest population, between 10.5 and 18.2 inhabitants, respectively.

No data on reinforcements

Although Nicaragua shows great progress in vaccination against covid-19, opacity persists. The Minsa has not reported to PAHO how many people have already applied the reinforcement doses, despite applying the reinforcement or booster since last November.

Likewise, the information on the type of vaccine that is administered as a booster and the time in which it is recommended to apply has been confusing. At first it was mentioned that it would be exclusively with Sputnik Light after two months of applying the second dose and in January of this year, AstraZeneca vaccines were added as another option.

There is also no information on the population groups that have received the Sinopharm vaccines that were donated by PAHO and China, between October and December, nor has it been reported to whom the Jannsen doses that were donated by Spain will be applied.

The Minsa revealed detailed information on how many doses per type of vaccine were applied, but when the inoculation days were speeded up, the authorities stopped sharing this breakdown. Likewise, it is unknown how vaccination has progressed by departments and this prevents knowing if there is equitable access to vaccines.

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