SANTIAGO, Jan. 26 (Xinhua) -- The Chilean government announced on Tuesday it will begin the first stage of mass vaccination of its citizens against COVID-19 in February.
In the first quarter of 2021, some 5 million people in high-risk groups, including those with chronic illnesses and essential workers, will be first vaccinated, after which vaccination will be extended to another 15 million people in education and basic services, as well as the general population, said a government statement.
Vaccination will be free, voluntary and provided by the state, it added.
Some 56,000 Chileans, including frontline healthcare workers and residents of care homes, have already been vaccinated.
Chile has so far registered 706,500 confirmed cases and 18,023 deaths from the disease.