A health brigade goes to a dusty Lima neighborhood at night to vaccinate workers, housewives and young people against Covid-19 when the country that has the world’s highest death rate from coronavirus is hit by the third wave of the pandemic.
“I feel relieved to have received the vaccine. I couldn’t leave the house because I’m bedridden because my (hip) bone is fractured,” Salomina Laura, 50, told AFP, who took advantage of this campaign that began on Tuesday night in the capital of Peru.
“I feel more protected, I did not have any type of vaccine,” said this housewife after receiving the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine at home.
Laura lost a brother in the first wave of pandemic.
Two doctors and two nurses wearing biosafety suits and masks arrived Tuesday night at the hills of the Huaycán Urban Self-Management Community, a town in the Ate district, east of Lima, with some 680,000 inhabitants.
“I feel very happy because my son is already getting vaccinated, but we are going to continue taking care of ourselves. We want the pandemic to end,” Jorge Luis Santos, 51, told AFP, whose son Jean Paul, 19, received the first dose.
The nurses traveled in a van from the Ministry of Health the dusty streets of Huaycán to vaccinate people in their own homes. Before, the volunteers underwent a test to rule out the virus.
Vaccination against Covid-19 is not mandatory in Peru, but since last December 15 the unvaccinated cannot enter shopping centers or other closed public spaces.
The nurses worked for about five hours in this neighborhood, one of the most popular in Lima.
“Take care of yourselves with the vaccine, it’s not bad. Take care of yourselves brothers from Huaycán, get vaccinated, don’t be afraid,” said 74-year-old Cristina Esqueche, bedridden after suffering a stroke.
The vaccination campaign will continue in other neighborhoods of Lima in the following days.
“We go walking to the patients’ houses to protect them with the vaccine. The third wave has been something that was expected for the holidays and because people were careless,” said nurse Cindy Villanueva.
The Peruvian government has managed to immunize against Covid-19 almost 80% of the population older than 12 years. More than 22 million people received both doses of the vaccine, while almost 6 million already have the booster.
Additionally, the government is scheduled to vaccinate children between 5 and 11 years old starting next week.
The country adds 2.6 million infections by Covid-19 since March 2020. Some 400,000 cases (15%) have been registered in just one month, since the omicron variant was detected in Peru in December 2021. Among those infected are four ministers.
The death toll reached 203,645 people, making the Andean country of 33 million inhabitants the one with the highest mortality from Covid-19 in the world, with 6,171 deaths per million inhabitants, according to an AFP balance based on figures officers.