Health

six questions resolved about what is coming for vaccination

-After a year and a long month, the National Vaccination Plan against covid-19 (PNV) began its closing phase this week. The 1,700 points that had been enabled will be gradually closed and it is expected that between April and May the vaccinators will only apply the anticovid doses at the Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI) posts.

In the Ministry of Health they told this newspaper that the closure of the PNV will be done in order to “optimize resources”: as citizens are no longer going en masse to apply their anticovid doses – in part because almost seven out of ten people in Colombia they have their complete scheme–, it is not feasible to maintain the same vaccination posts.

The measure, however, gave rise to several questions among citizens who will go to get vaccinated in the coming months. For this reason, EL COLOMBIANO spoke with the Vice Minister of Health, Germán Escobar, who gave details of what is coming for the anticovid vaccination.

Will the vaccination points close?

The PNV points that were in places such as shopping malls, mass transit system stations and other public places with a large influx of people had been set up temporarily, to respond to the rapid advance of the coronavirus pandemic.

To that extent, they will gradually begin to close, especially when they do not have enough patients to attend to. According to Vice Minister Escobar, this closing process is expected to begin in April and “be consolidated” as of May.

In white silver, the more than 1,700 PNV points will be closed and citizens will be able to go to the 4,100 that are enabled for the PAI.

Will you need to make an appointment to get vaccinated?

No, all people over three years of age who need to be vaccinated against covid-19 may do so without an appointment, as long as they meet the minimum time and number of doses requirements. As explained by Vice Minister Escobar, the anticovid vaccination will function as the regular vaccine program.

“Every person who goes to the vaccination point must be vaccinated, that is the general guideline, unless local (vaccine) inventories are exhausted. But they are exceptional cases, ”she stressed.

The official indicated that some health providers could implement scheduling strategies with citizens. However, these types of alternatives can be used as long as they do not become barriers for patients to access the vaccine.

Where will the vaccination points be?

Once the PNV posts are closed, citizens will have to attend the PAI posts. “In this new phase of vaccination, the user contacts or searches for the vaccination center that is closest to their home,” the official said.

To locate them you have several ways. On the one hand, you can consult the website of the Ministry of Health or the Secretary of Health of your city or municipality. In addition, you can call or check the website of your EPS.

These EPI points, Escobar pointed out, are open continuously -although the specific hours depend on each IPS-, they have sufficient storage capacity and have vaccination personnel prepared to meet the demand that will be in the coming months.

Will the anticovid vaccine have any cost?

“Absolutely not,” emphasized the deputy minister. This is due to the fact that all the vaccines that are included in the EPI are free, since they are financed with the budget of the General System of Social Security in Health.

How can you complete your outline?

If you have not yet completed your anticovid vaccination schedule, you can go to the EPI-enabled points without any problem – the same applies to people who want to start their immunization process or have their booster available.

Although the correct thing is that you get your second anticovid dose before 12 weeks have passed since the first dose was applied –or 4 weeks in the case of the Sinovac vaccine–, you can go to the EPI points after that time and complete your outline. This has been indicated by the Ministry of Health.

Is the vaccination of Venezuelans maintained?

Escobar said that “any inhabitant” of Colombia will be able to be vaccinated against covid-19, a regulatory advance that has been in place since 2021.

This implies that all Venezuelan citizens, regardless of their immigration status, will be able to access anticovid doses at EPI points. This, according to current regulations, applies even to the Venezuelan population that is only passing through Colombia.

68.8%

of the population in Colombia completed their anticovid vaccination schedule.

81.6

Millions of anticovid doses have been applied since vaccination began.

10.8

Millions of people have gotten a booster anticovid dose.

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