April 19, 21 - 3:13 pm - LABS

Too optimistic? Leader in vaccination at LatAm, Chile confirms how CoronaVac’s effectiveness can be low with just one dose

Chile is the leader in immunization against the novel coronavirus in Latin America. So far, it has administered 65 vaccine doses per 100 people, putting it third in the world after Israel and the UAE, which both have much smaller populations, thanks to early government action to secure supplies, stressed the Financial Times on Sunday.

President Sebástian Piñera told the newspaper that because of the vaccination’s strong pace, the Chilean economy might grow 6% in 2021 – a forecast in line with organizations such as the IMF, which predicts a rebound of 6.2% this year. But the second wave that has hit the country since last week, and demanded new measures to restrict circulation, indicates that Colombians have let their guard down too soon.

Experts heard by the Wall Street Journal said that people, in general, “overestimated the effectiveness of the vaccine after only one of the two recommended doses and moved to ease up on pandemic-control restrictions too soon”.

On Friday, the Chilean authorities released a study with 10.5 million people showing that Sinovac‘s immunizer, CoronaVac, was 16% effective against infection after one dose and 67% effective after a second dose. The study also found it to be 80% effective in preventing death from COVID-19 two weeks after a second dose. Chile’s situation is also a cautionary tale for other Latin American countries that have started to roll out the Sinovac immunizer, such as Brazil, Bolivia, and Mexico.