More than 200,000 in PR vaccinated against COVID-19, for now

By John McPhaul

Puerto Rico National Guard (PRNG) Adj. Gen. José Reyes said in a radio interview Monday that more than 200,000 people on the island have been vaccinated against COVID-19.

“To update the numbers, 352,000 doses have already arrived in Puerto Rico this weekend and some 308,195 doses have been distributed to the different centers and are being administered,” Reyes said. “And those already vaccinated exceeds 200,000.”

“We are already on second doses. They are being equitably distributed,” he added. “We continue the vaccination mission of the Department of Education, which is about 52,000 people. Today we are opening five additional centers. Last week we already had three centers. So weekly we are vaccinating about 12,400 teachers and cafeteria staff, from both the public and private sectors.”

The PRNG adjutant general described the vaccination supply rate as “slow, in the sense of the amount that is reaching Puerto Rico.”

“We want and have the capacity to receive 100,000 or 150,000 weekly doses. We are very hopeful [regarding] the promise of the new President [Joseph] Biden that over 100 million American citizens will be vaccinated in the next 100 days,” Reyes said. “So we are waiting for the CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] in Atlanta to double or triple the quantity of vaccines that arrive weekly in Puerto Rico.”

“Some 41,000 vaccines arrive weekly in Puerto Rico,” he added. “First doses and second doses are already arriving.”

Reyes noted that chain pharmacies “Walgreens and CVS have a national contract to vaccinate” at homes for the elderly.

But in Puerto Rico “the tasks were passed on to the National Guard,” said the island’s highest-ranking citizen soldier.

“There are about 174 homes for the elderly in Puerto Rico,” he said. “The National Guard will begin this new mission this Wednesday.”

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