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Panama forces civil servants to be vaccinated against covid-19

Panama’s President Laurentino Cortizo decreed on Wednesday the mandatory vaccination against covid for all public officials, said Health Minister Luis Francisco Sucre.

“Today (Wednesday) we signed a decree with Mr. President (Cortizo) where vaccination is made mandatory for all public officials” because “if there is something that cannot stop it is the government facilities that have to continue functioning,” Sucre told reporters. 

Whoever does not want to be vaccinated “will have to present a negative test (for covid-19) every Monday to his immediate boss or to human resources”, added the official.

As of Wednesday, Panama, with 4.2 million inhabitants, has accumulated more than half a million cases and 7,445 deaths due to covid-19.

In less than a month, the Central American country has gone from having a few hundred new infections per day to more than 4,300. In Panama, with 6.3 million doses applied, 81% of people over 12 years of age have been vaccinated at least twice against covid-19. 

In October, the application of the third dose of the vaccine began and, as of Friday, children from five to eleven years of age will also receive the drug.   

“We can’t tie anyone down to get vaccinated,” Sucre said but added that the vaccinated person “can’t play with the health of the rest of the peers either,” Sucre said.

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