BOGOTA — Colombian President Ivan Duque announced on Friday that the country will begin the application of a second COVID-19 booster dose, or a fourth vaccine dose, for people over 50 years old.

A senior citizen receives a dose of COVID-19 vaccine at an inoculation site in Bogota, Colombia, on March 9, 2021. (Photo by Jhon Paz/Xinhua)

“This will be very important to continue protecting ourselves and saving lives,” said the president, accompanied by Minister of Health and Social Protection Fernando Ruiz.

Duque said that the second booster dose can be applied four months after the first booster shot.

“Today we are proud that more than 83 percent of Colombians have had at least one vaccine dose against COVID-19, while 70 percent are fully immunized,” he added.

For his part, Ruiz pointed out that the second booster dose for those over 50 years old will cover more than 12.5 million people, which will help maintain immunity levels at a time when the country is experiencing a significant recovery, with a low number of infections.

According to the latest Health Ministry report, the South American country had accumulated a total of 6,093,645 COVID-19 cases and 139,809 deaths from the disease.