The Director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), Dr. Carissa F. Etienne, Thursday thanked the United States Government for its commitment to a COVID-19 vaccine dose-sharing plan.
The plan will be administered through COVAX.
Etienne said the US move is a good step forward.
And she indicated it will assist in the drive to get vaccines to the people of the Caribbean and Latin America.
The U.S. said it plans to send the first tranche of 25 million doses, including 19 million procured through COVAX, to countries around the world.
This includes “Approximately 6 million for South and Central America to the following countries: Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Costa Rica, Peru, Ecuador, Paraguay, Bolivia, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Panama, Haiti, and other Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries, as well as the Dominican Republic,” the White House statement specified.
It also said, “The United States will share vaccines in our region and across our borders. We first made doses available to our closest neighbors – Canada and Mexico. Our dose-sharing approach prioritizes Latin American and the Caribbean on a per capita basis.”
The PAHO Director noted that effective vaccines are a beacon of hope in this COVID-19 crisis
“And we must do all in our power to secure more doses for all nations in the Americas,” Etienne asserted.
As a result, she observed that regional solidarity, including the donation of vaccine doses, will be key to get through the current shortage of supply.
The PAHO Director warned that the COVID-19 pandemic is far from over.
“It is hitting Latin America and the Caribbean severely, affecting our health, our economies, and entire societies,” Etienne disclosed.
However, she noted that only about 8% of citizens have been vaccinated.