Chile becomes Latin America’s COVID-19 vaccination champion

By Eva Vergara and Patricia Luna | AP

March 14, 2021 at 10:07 p.m. GMT




SANTIAGO, Chile — After being among the world’s hardest-hit nations with COVID-19, Chile is now near the top among countries at vaccinating its population against the virus.


With more than 25% of its people having received at least one shot, the country of 19 million on South America’s Pacific coast is the champion of Latin America, and globally it is just behind Israel, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom.


That’s a far cry from the beginning of the pandemic, when Chile was criticized over its inability to trace and isolate infected people.


So what is the secret to its success?


Government officials and health experts say it was the country’s early negotiations with vaccine producers, as well as its past experience with robust vaccination programs, a record praised by th