Ecuador Imposes Vaccine Mandate Amid Rising Hospitalization Rate
(Bloomberg) -- Ecuador’s Health Ministry has ordered the inoculation of people 5 years of age and older against Covid-19 in a bid to ward off the threat of a further spike of infections, forging ahead of the rest of the region.
In a statement, the ministry cited Austria, Germany and Greece as other countries planning to make the vaccinations obligatory and said that the country’s intensive care unit occupation rate has increased after several recent local holidays.
While a similar order is bogged down in courts in Costa Rica, Ecuador’s Health Ministry said that the decision is backed by the country’s health law.
The government also has enough vaccine doses available to enforce the move, part of a wide range of measures from the banning of large religious processions to the shuttering of brothels issued this week.
Currently, 12.4 million people, or 77.2%, of the target population have been fully vaccinated. The administration of President Guillermo Lasso, which met a campaign pledge to inoculate 9 million people in his first 100 days in office, previously wanted to reach herd immunity by vaccinating 85% by the end of the year.
Lasso earlier this week, however, ruled out another crippling lockdown as he tries to speed economic recovery. People with certified medical reasons not to receive the shots are exempt from the measure.
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