Luis Escobar / La Paz
The Ministry of Health authorized the application of the fourth dose of the covid vaccine for the entire population. People with underlying disease or older than 65 years may be placed this inoculant 30 days after the third.
The authorities recommend that other citizens over 18 years of age take this drug six months after the third dose.
“Now, the Ministry of Health has extended the application of the fourth dose to the entire population in general. We will comply with the determination of the Ministry of Health. Therefore, the fourth dose is being administered to the entire population,” the director of the Departmental Health Service (Headquarters) of La Paz, Mayber Aparicio, said yesterday.
Until the previous week, the fourth dose was only applied to two population groups: those who had to travel abroad and needed the complete immunization schedule of the AstraZeneca, Pfizer or Moderna vaccines; and people who had an underlying pathology: kidney disease, diabetes, hypertension, obesity and cancer. Those over 65 years of age could also be placed.
With this measure, 1.1 million Bolivians – who received the third dose – will be able to access the new booster. The Headquarters enabled three vaccination points that work 24 hours a day and are located in the La Paz Bus Terminal, the Alto Obrajes Medicalized Hotel and the Chacaltaya Health Center in the city of El Alto.
In addition, this department has another 10 mobile points that change places to serve residents of different areas. For example, the brigades were installed in the Miraflores Children’s Hospital, the Irpavi MegaCenter, supermarkets and schools, among other spaces.
How long should you wait to apply the fourth dose? According to the director of Sedes La Paz, a citizen with a basic illness or an older adult can be placed 30 days after the third. For the general population, you must wait up to six months.
“There is no problem … What we want is to remind the immune system how to fight these variants,” he said.
For Aparicio, “there is no rule” that defines the waiting time, but he considered that if the person has a basic pathology or is an older adult, they must wait 30 days. He reiterated that the rest of the population could wait up to six months after the third dose.
Infections go down
The headquarters of La Paz confirmed “the end of the fourth wave” and will recommend stopping using the chinstraps in open spaces if the level of contagion continues to decline this week.
“We are waiting for the next epidemiological report because last week the cases increased by 8%. It is (a percentage) what we expected in relation to Carnival that would have caused an increase in infections, ”he said.
If there is a drop in infections this week, Aparicio said that Headquarters “recommends that biosecurity measures be relaxed in the department. For example, the organization of night activities and the extension of circulation hours. “At that point we will analyze if we can stop wearing a mask in open environments,” he specified.
He added that Headquarters will recommend that chinstraps continue to be used in closed environments, such as offices, public transport vehicles and others.
Headquarters is concerned about the low vaccination of children between five and 11 years of age. “In this group, we reach 40% (of the population) of the department. This implies that we must work as Headquarters to raise immunization levels. We focus on this group because classes are now returning in person, ”he assured.
In contrast, adolescents between 12 and 17 years of age have higher immunization coverage.