Chile is set to become the first country in Latin America, and one of the first in the world, to offer a fourth shot of the COVID-19 vaccine, as the highly transmissible Omicron variant is spreading worldwide.
Chilean President Sebastian Pinera on Thursday said the extra dose will first be offered to immunocompromised citizens.
"Experience has shown us that the vaccines and boosters efficacy diminishes over time and with the appearance of new variants. For these reasons we want to announce today that starting next Monday, January 10, we are going to start a new mass vaccination process with a fourth dose or a second booster dose."
Come February, more Chileans will be able to receive the fourth shot:
"Starting Monday February 7 we'll extend this vaccination to citizens of age 55 and over who have completed six months since their last dose, to medical workers and to people who may be at risk."
Chile has one of the world's highest vaccination rates, having administered two doses to over 85% of the population.
And, data shows about 57% have received a booster shot.
News of a fourth dose in Chile comes as several countries report all-time high COVID-19 case loads even among vaccinated populations.