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Colombia reduces booster vaccine waiting time to four months – Metro US

Colombia reduces booster vaccine waiting time to four months

Outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Bogota
Outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Bogota

BOGOTA (Reuters) – Colombia will let people get their coronavirus booster vaccines four months after completing their initial vaccination course, President Ivan Duque said on Tuesday.

Colombia, which according to government figures has had more than 5.3 million coronavirus infections and 130,460 deaths from COVID-19, previously mandated that people wait six months for their booster shots after completing their initial vaccinations.

“Everyone aged 18 and over who has had both doses, or one dose in cases like Janssen, can now have their booster doses after four months instead of six,” Duque said in a video message.

At the same time, people who are infected with coronavirus can have their vaccines 30 days after their isolation ends, rather than six months after, Duque said.

Colombia has also reduced quarantine times for those who test positive and show symptoms, regardless of vaccination status, to seven days, from 14 days previously.

Similarly, unvaccinated people who have been in contact with an infected person must isolate for seven days, Duque said.

However, those who have been vaccinated and have had contact with a infected person who do not show symptoms will not have to isolate, though they should continue to use masks and observe sanitary measures, he said.

Health authorities on Colombia reported their first cases of the fast-spreading Omicron variant on Dec. 20, and it has spread since then.

The Andean country has a population of about 50 million and is also vaccinating Venezuelan migrants regardless of their migratory status. That population is estimated to be at least 1.8 million people.

(Reporting by Oliver Griffin; Editing by Robert Birsel)

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