People aged 60 years or older and suffering from chronic diseases may be vaccinated in an orderly process that will begin next Thursday, March 11, the Health Department reiterated.
Yesterday, the designated secretary of the country’s health agency, Carlos Mellado López, announced that he would amend the administrative order that allocates vaccination efforts to people over 65 years of age to include this population. The initiative comes after the arrival in Puerto Rico of the Janssen vaccine, from Johnson & Johnson, which is only a single dose and does not need to be stored at extreme temperatures.
Administrative Order 2021-486 will be extended for a period of 30 days and has the objective of prioritizing that vaccines be administered to the most vulnerable population.
“We have managed to vaccinate 25% of the island’s older adults and we are going to continue our mission to vaccinate every person in Puerto Rico. However, with the arrival of more vaccines, it is important to begin integrating other populations in an orderly process. Therefore, starting next week, the priority for those who are 60 to 64 years old and who suffer from chronic diseases receive the vaccine. It is important to emphasize that the amount of vaccines we receive, despite having increased, does not allow us to vaccinate all at the same time as we would like, we are going little by little “Mellado López explained in written statements to the press.
What are the qualifying conditions?
Salud was swayed by conditions identified by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
These diseases are: cancer, chronic kidney disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (emphysema, pulmonary fibrosis, or alpha-1 antitrispine deficiency), Down syndrome, heart disease (heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathy), and immunocompromised status (weakened immune system) as a result of an organ transplant.
These guidelines are for all established vaccination centers, excluding those dedicated to vaccinating education system personnel.
The designated Secretary of Health emphasized that the new population to be vaccinated must present a medical referral that, in effect, certifies the patient’s condition and that it is among those exposed in the administrative order.
“For the moment, the instructions remain the same, we continue to exclusively vaccinate adults over 65 years of age in all the centers that receive vaccines, without exceptions,” he said.
The agency inspectors will be in charge of supervising all the vaccination centers to examine their compliance, highlighting that the phases adopted by the Department will be strictly followed.