Interview: China's anti-COVID-19 support "extremely valuable," says Ecuador's health minister

(Xinhua) 11:10, October 08, 2021

QUITO, Oct. 7 (Xinhua) -- China's support in Ecuador's fight against COVID-19 is "extremely valuable," Ecuadorian Public Health Minister Ximena Garzon has said.

"China's support has been a mainstay in getting us out of this pandemic. Without China's support, we definitely wouldn't have been able to do it, not just because of the quantity of vaccines (supplied) but also because of their speedy delivery," Garzon said in an interview with Xinhua earlier this week.

Progress in vaccination has been possible in the country thanks to the rapid supply of CoronaVac and Convidecia vaccines, developed by Chinese pharmaceutical company Sinovac and biopharmaceutical company CanSino Biologics, respectively.

The Chinese vaccines have been "very well received" by Ecuadorians, said Garzon.

"More than 60 percent of the population has been inoculated with Sinovac, while a smaller but significant percentage has received CanSino, leading to very good immunity and no undesirable effects," she said.

To date, 10 million people have been fully vaccinated in Ecuador. The inoculation of adolescents aged 12-15 is underway, while children aged 5-11 will begin getting vaccinated on Oct. 15.

The strategy aims to achieve herd immunity against COVID-19 by the end of the year, after 85 percent of the population is fully vaccinated.

"We have scientific evidence from Chile and China, all the evidence of the vaccine's effectiveness and safety. Therefore, we will make them (vaccines) available to these age groups," Garzon said.

"Now you are seeing the impact on economic and social recovery, the saving of lives and the decongestion of hospitals so that other pathologies can be treated," Garzon said.

Progress in immunization has led to a sustained downward trend in the number of new COVID-19 infections and deaths throughout the country, she said. 

(Web editor: Xia Peiyao, Liang Jun)


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