BOGOTA - Ecuador's government said on Thursday (Dec 23) it has made it obligatory for eligible people to be vaccinated against Covid-19, amid an increase in cases and the circulation of new variants of the disease.
About 12.4 million Ecuadoreans — or 77.2 per cent of those aged five and over — have been fully vaccinated against the disease, the health ministry said in a statement.
Indonesia, Micronesia, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan require vaccination for adults, and German and Austria will next year.
"Ecuador declares vaccination against Covid-19 to be obligatory. This decision was taken because of the current epidemiological situation: The increase in infections and the circulation of new variants of concern like Omicron," the statement added.
The government, which had previously said it wanted to vaccinate 85 per cent of its population this year, added that there are enough vaccine doses to immunise all its 17.8 million people.
"Immunisation will not be obligatory for people who have a medical condition or incompatibility. In that case, a certification must be presented," the statement said.
The Andean country has confirmed more than 537,000 cases of Covid and linked nearly 33,600 deaths to the disease.