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COVID-19: PAHO Director Says Pandemic ‘Still With Us’

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With the Americas region reporting more than 178,000 new cases last week, the Director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) has declared that the COVID-19 pandemic is “still with us.”

Yet, Dr. Carissa Etienne told a press briefing on Wednesday that falling trends globally, and in the Americas are an encouraging sign.

“We may be transitioning from the acute phase of the pandemic into a phase of sustained control,” Etienne observed.

“This is only possible if we continue to rely on testing and increase vaccination rates in every country,” the PAHO Director noted.

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According to Etienne, over 70% of people in Latin America and the Caribbean have obtained full COVID-19 vaccination coverage.

Nevertheless, she explained that while this is positive news, it hides the fact that over half of Member States are short of that target.

Etienne also observed that ten countries and territories have yet to reach the 40% mark.

She said PAHO is working with countries to ensure everyone can access vaccines.

“And we continue to call on all countries to work diligently to improve vaccination rates, especially among the most vulnerable, and to strengthen epidemiological surveillance,” the PAHO Director stated.


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