QUITO, Jan. 24 (Xinhua) -- Ecuador's National Agency for Health Regulation, Control, and Surveillance has approved the emergency use of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine against COVID-19, the Ministry of Public Health reported on Sunday.
The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is the second to gain approval for use in Ecuador, after the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
Ecuador, which as of Saturday had reported 238,232 cases and 9,943 deaths from COVID-19, received on Jan. 20 the first 8,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine from a first batch of 86,000, which is expected to arrive progressively into February.
This shipment indicated the start of the "zero phase", which involves the immunization of health personnel in critical areas and elderly adults in care centers.
Mass vaccinations for the rest of the population will begin in March, in accordance with international supplies.