A medical worker administers a dose of COVID-19 vaccine to a student at a school in Quito, Ecuador, Oct. 18, 2021. Ecuador on Monday began to vaccinate children aged 6-11 with a COVID-19 vaccine developed by Chinese pharmaceutical company Sinovac. (Str/Xinhua)
QUITO, Oct. 18 (Xinhua) -- Mimes and some people dressed as superheroes created a fun and playful atmosphere on Monday in Quito, capital of Ecuador, as the country began to vaccinate children aged 6-11 with a COVID-19 vaccine developed by Chinese pharmaceutical company Sinovac.
Also, several kids carried signs with messages in support of vaccination, including "Thanks to the vaccine, we will avoid catching the virus," "I want to get back to class already so I can meet my new classmates," and "In memory of those who dreamed of this opportunity, get vaccinated!"
Ecuadorian Vice President Alfredo Borrero kicked off the vaccination drive at the Pichincha Provincial Council Educational Unit in Quito, as school children in the South American country are eager to return to school in person after months of sheltering indoors due to the pandemic.
Wearing a white lab coat, Borrero, also a doctor by profession, personally vaccinated several of the kids at the vaccination site, which drew a large number of children accompanied by their parents.
"The vaccination process has never stopped, the process has continued. Now we are in another age group, that is children and adolescents, because we want to reach collective immunity," said Borrero.
"Let's hope that in the following days, in the following months, we will get there," Borrero said.
Thanks to progress in vaccination, today "we see a totally different panorama," he said, while urging the public to continue to practice social distancing measures.
Also on Monday, Ecuadorian Public Health Minister Ximena Garzon said that the vaccination for school children was very important for the reopening of offline classes in Ecuador and can greatly reduce the risk of infections for children.
Garzon also said that the vaccination data in both Chile and China have shown that the vaccine developed by Sinovac is safe and effective for children aged 6-11.
Ecuador has gradually reopened offline classes since July 6. Local media reported that currently, 32 percent of the schools in the country have reopened the offline class education.
Ecuador's COVID-19 caseload reached 513,026 and death toll hit 32,899 on Monday, according to the country's health ministry. Enditem