MADRID, Spain — On May 24, 2021, Ecuador launched its ambitious vaccination plan. Recently installed President Guillermo Lasso announced Ecuador’s plan to vaccinate 9 million people against COVID-19 in 100 days. The plan started on June 1 aiming to decrease Covid-19 related deaths and reviving the country’s economy.
The Impact of the COVID-19 Crisis in Ecuador
According to WorldoMeters, Ecuador has a population of 17.3 million and reported 473,647 cases of COVID-19 as of July 19th, 2021. Prior to President Lasso’s 100-day vaccination plan, Ecuador received 3.5 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines from Pfizer Inc, Sinovac and AstraZeneca. Guillermo Lasso’s 100-day vaccination plan seemed ambitious because, at the time, only 2.3% of the population have received the vaccination.
According to the Central Bank of Ecuador, the Covid-19 pandemic led to Ecuador’s largest economic contraction in history. The national GDP fell between 7.3% and 9.6% from 2019 to 2020. The OECD believes that the reduction in tax collection, a fall in the production and demand of petroleum resulted in GDP levels falling. Ecuador’s economic recession is also a result of the national lockdowns and a rise in public health expenditure to cover tests, treatment and vaccines.
Covid-19 Impact on Women
In Ecuador, women account for 60% of general health personnel and 81% of nurses. So, women are at an increased risk. Between March and May 2020, the availability of reproductive health care services decreased 45-60% compared to the previous year. The lockdowns also made it harder for domestic and gender violence victims to report abuses.
Ecuador launches the 100-day vaccine plan
On June 1, Ecuador received one million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine from United States donations and expects to receive another million within the following three weeks. So, Ecuador launched the 100-day vaccine plan. The first phase of the plan, “Saving Lives,” comprised of vaccinating people over 65. It also includes those with serious health conditions, disabilities and chronic diseases. According to the Ministry of Public Health, “Saving Lives” successfully began vaccinating by July 13.
With 11 out of every 100 people fully vaccinated, Guillermo Lasso is confident in his vaccination plan. Having administered 6,890,876 doses, Ecuador is hopeful that they will be able to revive the economy by generating employment and restoring investors’ confidence. The national government also believes that the 100-day vaccination plan will help bring tourists back to their biodiverse country. It will promote tourism by no longer having to force travelers into mandatory quarantine. The government also hopes to alleviate health care worker’s shifts as vaccination rollout continues. With hundreds vaccinated every day, Ecuador also hopes to see a decrease in gender and domestic violence as victims will no longer be in lockdown with their abusers.
– Carolina Cadena