San Juan. The Secretary of the Department of Health, Carlos Mellado, said this Monday that there is a great possibility that the new strain of COVID-19, which was initially identified in the United Kingdom, is already on Puerto Rican soil, although it has not yet been identified.
“I have no doubt. To think otherwise would be illusory, “said Mellado. in an interview with Radio Isla.
Mellado, however, said that there is scientific consensus that the available vaccine that is being distributed on the island works against all variants of the virus.
“We are going to mount a genomic surveillance”, detailed the official, after explaining that the process to detect a new strain involves analyzing a PCR test to find out if any protein is missing, which would confirm a mutation.
The Secretary of the Department of Health recognized at the same time that there is a problem with the rate of arrival of vaccines against COVID-19 on the island.
He explained that there are only about 20,000 vaccines available for the elderly population, which is 600,000 people.
Mellado said that if the slow rate of arrival of vaccines is maintained, there will be no herd immunity for next December, as the island’s authorities initially estimated..
The official is hopeful that the rate of arrival of the vaccine will increase in February, after conversations they have had with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and said that the second doses of the vaccine for people who already received the first are insured.
Mellado also indicated that the problems of the limited supply of vaccines are centered in the western area of the island and that he will launch an investigation to find out the reasons.
Mellado’s statements come when Salud announced that for the second consecutive day the island did not register deaths from COVID-19.
Since the pandemic began, the global death toll has now reached 1,703.
The Health Department report released Monday indicates there are 460 additional confirmed cases, bringing the total to 81,855 since March.