VOCES Puerto Rico opens new vaccination center amid COVID-19 spike
By The Star Staff
VOCES Puerto Rico Immunization and Health Promotion Coalition and the Department of Health have opened their second vaccination center on the second level of Plaza Las Américas in Hato Rey.
Both institutions call on citizens over three years old to go to the centers to get their vaccines or boosters against COVID-19 so that everyone can be protected against the virus.
“Vaccination being up to date means having the entire primary series recommended for each age and the pertinent boosters,” said Lilliam Rodríguez Capó, CEO and founder of VOCES. “Vaccination remains the best option for protection and avoiding complications.”
“We are finally back to work. This week our children and young people are returning to school, thanks to the advances in vaccination,” she added. “Let’s continue to bring normality closer, and let’s keep our vaccinations up to date. Let’s not go back to the past.”
Health Secretary Carlos Mellado López, meanwhile, urged the population to continue with their vaccination series and complete it, especially high-risk groups.
“We continue with the call for the triple protection that the booster provides,” he said. “The new order on vaccination against the coronavirus says that to participate in mass events, everyone has to have their primary vaccine series and booster dose, corresponding to their age group. We call on everyone to protect their health and that of their family members by being fully vaccinated.”
Mellado López urged parents and guardians to consider administering the booster to their children to maintain a protected school environment and avoid the spread of infection. In the five- to 11-year-old population, only 2.9 percent of the population has the booster dose, he said. Meanwhile, 55.71 percent of the population aged 12 years and older has at least one booster dose. Adults 50 years of age and older have 15.93 percent with both booster doses.
Dr. Ana Rodríguez Acevedo, medical director of VOCES, said that without up-to-date vaccination, the variants of the disease are complicated and continue to present themselves.
“Given the high infection rate, we must protect ourselves, especially our elders,” she said.
Up-to-date vaccination against COVID-19 or being fully vaccinated refers to having completed booster doses.
The Pfizer vaccine will be available for individuals 12 years and older and Moderna for the population 18 years and older for their first booster. The second booster will be available to the community over 50 after a minimum of four months from the first booster dose. Appointments are not required, and personnel will vaccinate on a first-come, first-served basis. Those wishing to be vaccinated must present their original vaccination card and photo ID.
Individuals vaccinated with Janssen can receive their booster with Pfizer or Moderna four months after their last vaccination.
The new VOCES vaccination center is located on the second level of Plaza Las Américas between JC Penney and Macy’s from Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. and on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
For more information, visit vocespr.org and salud.gov.pr or call 787-789-4008.