Health June 19, 2024 - 7:47 am

Health authority reports COVID-19 vaccine shortage in the Dominican Republic

Santo Domingo.- The Minister of Public Health (MSP), Víctor Atallah, announced that the country currently lacks COVID-19 vaccines due to the perception that the disease had “disappeared.”

“COVID-19 seemed to have disappeared, and the influx to vaccination centers was almost zero. We vaccinated nearly 100% of the population, which was a record. A second outbreak was not anticipated,” said Minister Atallah during the presentation of the new edition of the National Epidemiological Bulletin.

Atallah mentioned that vaccines for adults are expected to arrive next week, and information on the distribution centers will be provided. Additionally, he confirmed that vaccines for children, who were pending vaccination, have arrived to prevent a spike in cases among this group.

No Intensive Care Patients or Intubations

Minister Atallah highlighted that there are currently no COVID-19 patients in intensive care or on ventilators. He noted that the number of cases has decreased, with no reported deaths. “Only 300 new cases have been registered, showing a reduction compared to last week,” he emphasized.

He also mentioned that approximately 2,500 hospital beds have been made available, and there has been no overcrowding in health centers. He stressed the importance of wearing masks to prevent the virus’s spread and assured that pharmacies are being supplied to avoid a shortage of medicines. “We continue to monitor to anticipate possible outbreaks,” he concluded.

Launch of the Modernized National Epidemiological Bulletin

On Tuesday, the MSP unveiled a modern version of its National Epidemiological Bulletin in digital format. The updated bulletin features changes in format, design, and content, with a focus on a main theme in each publication.

The primary objective of the new bulletin is to “inform in an easy and accurate manner” about health events in the country, targeting both epidemiologists and the interested public.

During the launch event, Minister Atallah highlighted that the new updates make the epidemiological document more accessible, with an index and chapters navigable through tabs. The bulletin uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) on its cover and includes a QR code for accessing the repository of previously published bulletins, which are available for download.

Weekly Updates and Central Topics

The new bulletin will be updated every Thursday at noon and will be available on the Epidemiology Directorate’s website, https://digepi.gob.do. Each edition will feature a central current topic, described and analyzed in detail within its local, regional, and global contexts, along with surveillance methods and prevention or control recommendations.

Minister Atallah explained that the format of the National Epidemiological Bulletin had not been updated for over 15 years. The new version aims to provide a more modern, readable, and instructive tool that facilitates quicker access and understanding of the document.

The updated bulletin will present mandatory notification events by time, place, and person, along with a summary table of confirmed cases for the week and the most relevant events. It will also feature a relevant scientific article for the ongoing education of epidemiologists and other readers.

This statistical document covers notifiable health events, showing the behavior of diseases such as dengue, malaria, leptospirosis, cholera, respiratory diseases, and rabies. It also includes the incidence of maternal and infant deaths, disaggregated by sex, age, and other indicators.

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