Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) director Carissa F. Etienne said the US government’s committment to Covax was a ” good step forward in our drive to get vaccines into the arms of our people in Latin America and the Caribbean.”
“We are grateful for this dose-sharing initiative and encourage other countries with surplus vaccines to follow the lead of the United States.”
The dose-sharing approach will prioritises Latin American and the Caribbean on a per capita basis.
Etienne said, “Effective vaccines are a beacon of hope in this crisis, and we must do all in our power to secure more doses for all nations in the Americas. Regional solidarity, including the donation of vaccine doses, will be key to get us through the current shortage of supply.
“This pandemic is far from over, and it is hitting Latin America and the Caribbean severely, affecting our health, our economies, and entire societies. Yet only about 4 per cent of our citizens have been fully vaccinated,” Dr. Etienne said. “The region is an epicenter for covid19 suffering. It should be an epicenter for vaccination, too.
“Our most urgent need continues to be additional vaccines, and as we thank the United States, I also want to repeat our call for other donations of vaccines to the countries of the Americas, which have a high epidemiological burden and not enough vaccines to reach a high proportion of their populations,” she added.
COVAX has delivered 17.6 million doses of vaccines to 31 countries in the Americas.