Live updates: Ecuador makes pandemic vaccination mandatory | Health & Fitness

QUITO, Ecuador — Ecuador is making vaccination against the coronavirus mandatory.

The government said Thursday that only Ecuadorians with a medical condition that could be complicated by vaccination will be exempt. Those people must provide documentation.

Officials say the order comes because of an increase in coronavirus infections and the circulation of new variants such as omicron.

Ecuador says it has enough vaccine to immunize the entire population. As of Tuesday, about 77% of Ecuador’s 17.3 million people had been vaccinated. About 33,600 people in Ecuador have died from COVID-19.

Earlier this week, the body overseeing health policies to combat the pandemic decreed that vaccination certificates must be shown to enter restaurants, cinemas and other public areas.

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Go to https://APNews.com/coronavirus-pandemic for updates throughout the day.

HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING TODAY:

SANTIAGO, Chile — Chile plans to offer a fourth dose of the coronavirus vaccine to its citizens.

President Sebastián Piñera said Thursday that the fourth dose is expected to start in February.

Health Secretary Enrique París says the shot will be different than the one people got previously.

Chile has reported almost 86% of its population fully vaccinated. That makes it the country with the highest level of immunization against the coronavirus in Latin America, and puts it among the best ones in the world, according to online research website Our World in Data.

Piñera says 10,2 million out of Chile’s 19 million people have received a third dose as a booster.

Almost 39,000 people in Chile are confirmed to have died from COVID-19.

RALEIGH, N.C. — The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services says that although its testing supply chain “remains tight,” the uptick in demand since Thanksgiving has not reached the levels the state saw in past peaks, such as the delta surge during the summer.

The agency said Thursday that it “is working with laboratory partners to continuously assess testing demand and supply throughout the state and at this time most laboratories have additional testing capacity available.”

Health officials in the state’s Wake County announced Wednesday night that they will double the number of appointments and expand rapid testing at five locations. They say results for 13,000 people each day will come back in less than 12 hours.

MADRID — Spain has set a new daily infection record as citizens seeking to determine whether they are contagious ahead of Christmas gatherings endured long queues amid a shortage of tests.

The nearly 73,000 new cases recorded Thursday were Spain’s third consecutive record high in three days.

The national 14-day contagion rate rose to its highest level this year: 911 new cases per 100,000 residents.

The Spanish government has ordered mandatory mask-wearing

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