Ecuador’s government said on Thursday 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% of those aged 5 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% of its population this year, added that there are enough vaccine doses to immunize all its 17.8 million people.
“Immunization 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.