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Posted: Monday, June 28, 2021 9:30 am CST.
By Aaron Humes: The governments of the United States of America, Canada, and Spain have been commended by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) for their commitment to providing COVID-19 vaccines and supporting their distribution in the region.
On Sunday, the first shipment of 1.5 million doses of Moderna vaccine is expected to be delivered to Honduras through the COVAX mechanism.
Director, Dr. Carissa F. Etienne, said: “We are extremely grateful to the United States for this generous contribution that will surely make a difference in countries that are experiencing extreme hardship due to the continued transmission of COVID-19 and deaths. Latin America and the Caribbean is the epicenter of this global pandemic, and donations like these are the most efficient way to get vaccines that are not commercially available into the arms of people who desperately need them now. “
Canada has contributed $ 5 million to the design and operationalization of the COVAX dose delivery mechanism, and a Canadian $ 50 million commitment to expand access to COVID-19 vaccines in the region.
Spain has donated 5 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine for the region.
“We hope that the generous donations and support from the United States, Spain, Canada and other countries will be followed by other developed countries around the world, so that we can expand access to vaccines as soon as possible,” Etienne stressed.
Latin American and Caribbean countries consistently report some of the highest numbers of cases and deaths in the world, with hospitals on edge. Only about 11 percent of the entire population of the Caribbean and Latin America combined have completed their vaccination schedules, and some countries are still unable to immunize more than one percent of their population.
Since the start of the pandemic, more than 1.2 million people have lost their lives and 37.2 million cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Latin American and Caribbean countries. According to the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), the number of poor in the region had risen to 209 million by the end of 2020, at least 22 million more than the previous year. An unprecedented rise in poverty levels.
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