70% fully-vaccinated in Uruguay—and getting boosters

It happened on the eve of Independence Day—almost as if it had been planned. Uruguay's vaccination rate is third in the world, and cases plummeting.
By Karen A Higgs
Last updated on August 27, 2021

On the eve of Uruguay’s anniversary of the declaration of Independence, seventy percent of the population became fully vaccinated against Covid-19.

Just after midday on August 24, the health minister tweeted the good news and even set a new goal saying “75% is possible”.

The chart shows a number of departments—as states in Uruguay are called—have already surpassed the 75% mark.

At the time of writing, Uruguay has the third most successful Covid vaccination campaign in the world after the United Arab Emirates and Malta.

This is particularly praiseworthy when you consider that as a small less developed country, there were problems initially actually getting hold of the vaccines themselves. So vaccination did not even begin until months after more developed nations.

Rates of vaccination compared to the US and UK

Take a look at this graph from Our World In Data of people fully vaccinated relative to population. The United Arab Emirates is world number one at the moment (74%). Uruguay comes in with 71%. I include the US (51%) and the UK (62%), as many of you readers are from there. Way to go, Uruguay.

8% already have the third booster shot

Two weeks ago, thanks to the good rates of first and second shot vaccinations and an ample supply of vaccines, a third booster shot of Pfizer was offered to those who had received their second dose at least three months earlier. Already 8% of Uruguayans, almost 300,000—myself included—, have gotten their booster.

The ample supply was in part thanks to Uruguay being fortunate to receive a donation of a half a million shots of Pfizer from the United States which shared 80 million shots doses of vaccine from its national stockpile with the rest of the world in June.

Vaccination is working

The number of new cases nationwide has dwindled to around 100 a day. There have been multiple days this month with zero deaths. The number of people in intensive care has also dropped so much—to just 11 today—that the trauma hospital which had been commandeered to deal exclusively with coronavirus patients has returned to its former speciality.

At the risk of repeating myself, in a pandemic, there’s no place I’d rather be than Uruguay.

The latest on the pandemic in Uruguay

Jan 10 2023 The Uruguay government declared the end of the health emergency on April 1 2022 after 752 days. 82% of the population has received at least two shots.  

Disclaimer: Data is from the Coronavirus UY app, which is approved by the Uruguay Ministry of Health. To be able to see these graphics for yourself you must be in Uruguay and registered on the Coronavirus UY app. As they are so useful to see how the country has been dealing with the pandemic, I decided to share some screenshots and explanations with you. Any analysis is based on my own reading and research as an informed member of society in Uruguay. I’m not an expert.




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