Chilean president announces COVID-19 vaccination for adolescents

SANTIAGO, June 10 (Xinhua) -- Chilean President Sebastian Pinera announced on Thursday that adolescents between 12 and 17 years old can begin to get vaccinated against COVID-19 on June 21 with the vaccine from Pfizer-BioNTech laboratories.

A nurse prepares a dose of COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination site in Santiago, Chile, March 25, 2021. (Photo by Jorge Villegas/Xinhua)

The Institute of Public Health (ISP) received a request on May 20 from Pfizer-BioNTech to extend vaccination to this age group, which included information from a clinical study conducted on children from 12 to 16 years old.

On May 31, the ISP authorized the inoculation of this age group, with the aim of advancing herd immunity in the South American country.

Immunization will start with minors in state-administered institution and mental health facilities and children with comorbidities, Pinera said in a video disseminated on social media, adding, "Then we will continue with all the young people in our country."

Several specialists have warned about an increase in COVID-19 infections in minors, as well as worsening conditions among these patients, who are being admitted more frequently to hospitals this year compared to 2020.