By Tamsin Brown • 24 December 2021 • 10:36
Ecuador has become the first Latin American country to make vaccination mandatory for all citizens unless they are exempt for certified medical reasons.
On Thursday, December 23, Ecuador became the first Latin American country to make vaccination against COVID-19 mandatory, after the Ministry of Health released a document called “Guidelines for mandatory vaccination against SARS CoV-2” due to the increasing number of cases and the spreading of new variants, such as omicron, which is putting pressure on hospitals around the world.
“We declare the mandatory nature of vaccination against COVID-19 in the national territory, due to the current epidemiological circumstances, the risk of new variants, the availability of and access to vaccines, and the current scientific evidence,” states the document.
Mandatory vaccination is a measure that has been met with resistance in many countries, but the Organic Health Act in Ecuador gives the Ministry of Health the right and responsibility “to declare the mandatory nature of immunisations against certain diseases, in the terms and conditions required by the national and local epidimelogial reality; to define the norms and the basic national framework for immunisations; and to provide the population with the necessary elements free of charge”.
In a statement, the Ministry specified that the country has enough vaccines “ to immunise the entire population” and explained that vaccination is a right that the State guarantees through public policies, programmes, actions and services for the promotion of health.
Only those who have medically certified reasons may be exempt from vaccination.
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Originally from London, Tamsin is based in Malaga and is a local reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering Spanish and international news.
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